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ESPN blasts ethnic slur directed at Mina Kimes as ‘extremely offensive’

ESPN has denounced a Boston sports radio host who used an ethnic slur directed at network personality Mina Kimes, calling the comments “extremely offensive.”

“There is no place for these type of hateful comments,” an ESPN spokesperson told The Hill in a statement on Thursday, adding that the remarks “were uncalled for and extremely offensive.”

Kimes, who currently serves as a senior writer for the brand and an analyst on NFL Live, reiterated the sports channel’s response to the matter. She told the Washington Post in a statement that she would “let ESPN’s statement represent me as well.” 

During an appearance on New England Sports Radio’s (WEEI) “The Greg Hill Show” on Tuesday, executive producer and on-air personality Chris Curtis made the comments while discussing a proposal in the city of Boston where miniature bottles of alcohol, often referred to as “nips,” would be prohibited. 

“I’d probably go Mina Kimes,” Curtis said when asked to name his favorite “nips.”

The term Curtis used — referring to Kimes, who is of Korean descent on her mother’s side — was first used during World War II when caricatures and slurs against Japanese people were used as entertainment in wartime propaganda, according to the Post. 

The video of Curtis’ remarks surfaced and went viral on the internet the day after. 

Curtis, who has worked in the Boston sports radio scene since 2002, apologized on Thursday for the comments and noted that he will also serve a suspension without pay until next Wednesday. 

In his apology, Curtis explained that he meant to say actress Mila Kunis, who is of Ukrainian-Jewish descent, when he made the remarks. 

“I attempted to bring up Mila Kunis, which was not really that funny, [it was] sophomoric and sexist, but for reasons I don’t understand, I said Mina Kimes,’’ Curtis said on the WEEI radio program before he began his suspension.

 “That was never the intention for me to say her name,” he continued. “It had nothing to do with the subject matter, and it dragged her into a controversy through no fault of her own regarding a slur and her race and it’s not at all what my intention was.”

Audacy, WEEI’s parent company, told The Hill that it had “no comment and nothing to add to Chris’ on-air apology” 

Kimes, who joined the Bristol, Conn., based sports network in 2014, has become a popular personality in past years as she regularly appears on ESPN shows such as “First Take,” “Around The Horn,” and “NFL Live” and hosts her own sports podcast titled “The Mina Kimes Show featuring Lenny.”

Tags Boston espn Ethnic slurs Massachusetts Mila Kunis Racial slur

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