ESPN analyst Mina Kimes found herself at the center of attention on social media Wednesday after a Boston radio host made an inappropriate remark about her.
During a segment on The Greg Hill Show on WEEI-FM, Chris Curtis invoked Kimes’s name during a discussion about a proposal to ban mini liquor bottles in Boston. Cohost Courtney Cox asked her peers to rank their top five nips, which is a nickname for the tiny bottles. However, the word “nip” also carries a pejorative connotation toward people of Japanese descent.
As the show’s personalities were naming brands of booze, Curtis interjected, “Uh, I’d probably go Mina Kimes.”
ESPN issued a statement denouncing the comment about Kimes, who is of Korean descent, later Wednesday. Curtis apologized for the comment Thursday and was handed a week-long suspension.
But before Curtis apologized, a spokesperson from WEEI’s parent company, Audacy, told Chad Finn of The Boston Globe that Curtis meant to invoke the name of actress Mila Kunis, not Kimes. That seemed to imply a joke based on sexism, as opposed to racism.
Kimes appeared to take the high road by avoiding a direct comment on the situation and instead humorously changed her Twitter avatar to a photo of Kunis.
That’s where Whitlock, a Blaze Media personality who was twice employed by ESPN, joined the fray. On Wednesday evening, presumably reacting to the revised avatar, Whitlock opined on Twitter that Kimes had made herself a victim in the situation.
“Raise your hand if you knew ’Nip’ was an ethnic slur? I did not. Tell me how Mina Kimes’ life was impacted by this?” Whitlock wrote. “Other than nailing herself to a cross, I don’t see the damage. She will dance to rap music calling black people N-words repeatedly without uttering a complaint.”
Kimes responded to Whitlock’s criticism Thursday afternoon with a not-so-subtle dig at the longtime sportswriter.
“Nailing myself to a cross?” Kimes wrote in a quote tweet. “I made one joke and went back to work…because unlike you, I still talk about sports for a living. Have a great day.”