Boston, MA

Racial slur hurled at ESPN's Mina Kimes once again puts Boston racism in spotlight

Photo byThe Associated Press

It is tiring to see the ignorance, stupidity, and racism persisting in our society. It does not rest and comes at us from all corners. Recently, a Boston sports talk radio host made a racist remark about ESPN's Mina Kimes during a segment on WEEI's "The Greg Hill Show." The co-hosts were discussing their "top five nips," which are small liquor bottles, when the producer, Chris Curtis, interjected with a guttural slur directed at Kimes, who is of Korean descent. The comment was supposed to be a joke, but it was blatantly racist and offensive.
In response to the incident, ESPN called the comments "uncalled for and extremely offensive," while WEEI's parent company, Audacy, claimed that Curtis was trying to reference actress Mila Kunis instead of Kimes. However, Curtis's defence of replacing racism with sexism only exacerbates the problem. The incident shows that parts of Boston still cling to a racist past and refuse to let it die.
Although Boston has made progress in addressing racism, incidents like this show that there are still people who embrace it. Racism occurs in other cities as well, but the persistence of it in Boston is particularly troubling. It is a stain that is hard to ignore, and athletes and people of colour continue to face racist incidents.
LeBron James has publicly expressed his distaste for Boston, and basketball player Marcus Smart has detailed how a fan called him a racial slur. Baseball players have also reported countless racist incidents at Fenway Park. This is not just about one racist remark on a talk show; it is about the persistence of Boston's racist past in the present.
What makes the incident with Kimes particularly offensive is that she is respected and cherished in the sports media world. She has reached the upper echelon of the industry by covering both the data and human parts of the NFL, and she is respected by everyone. In contrast, the person who made the racist comment has no respect.
It is time for Boston to confront its racist past and make a genuine effort to eradicate it. It is not enough to make progress in some areas while allowing racism to persist in others. We must all work to create a society where racism is not tolerated and where everyone is respected regardless of their race, ethnicity, or gender.

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