ESPN NFL commentator Mina Kimes recently revealed a hateful email she received earlier this football season. She describes the email, titled “STOP”, as “absolute trash”, sent by an online troll. The story has gained considerable traction in only a couple days’ time, largely because it was a grossly misogynistic message against an Asian woman who makes a living commentating on a masculine sport played by Caucasians and African-Americans.
The Emailer’s Identity has Been Revealed
Kimes shared the email on Monday, noting that the internet troll who sent the message has been identified as a critic named Charles Brown. Brown wrote the lengthy email to Kimes insisting she “pretends” to know things about male sports. Brown’s email message also contained additional sexist remarks that offended Kimes as well as other women at the “mothership” of sports that is ESPN.
The misogynistic email insinuated that the only reason Kimes is employed at the network is because of affirmative action policies. Brown stated, “Jeff Saturday must privately feel so emasculated having to pretend to have an intellectual back and forth about professional sports with someone wearing lipstick and high heels.”
Saturday, a former Indianapolis Colts center, also works as an ESPN NFL football commentator, primarily on the Get Up morning show hosted by Mike Greenberg. However, those who watch ESPN on weekday mornings are well aware of Saturday’s schtick. Saturday is bombastic and absurdly loud, almost always yelling into the camera to heighten viewer awareness and engagement.
In contrast, Kimes has a tempered cadence and a smooth verbal flow that communicates insightful football tidbits in a truly artful manner. The difference between Saturday’s and Kimes’ oratory skills and elocution makes the accusation made in Brown’s email all the more absurd.
Kimes’ Response to the Email
Kimes took to Twitter to respond to the hateful email, stating “Sir, this is a Wendy’s.” It is also interesting to note Saturday responded to the disgusting email by heaping on the praise for Kimes. Saturday also directly addressed Brown, telling him to “pipe down.” Saturday expanded on the directive, by expounding with a lengthy monologue on Twitter.
Saturday’s tweet read, “This is absolute trash! Mina is fantastic at her job and has earned everything she has at ESPN. I can also tell you that I have reached out to Mina a number of times so that she could teach me about the use of analytics in football. She makes our NFL team better.”
Kimes went on to elaborate on her stance of publicly acknowledging the email message, stating she “understands” the recommendations to not amplify the hateful comments. She went on to detail her logic in shining the spotlight on the email, insisting misogyny in the sports media world is an overarching structural problem that extends well beyond her. Kimes highlighted the fact that if she were to remain quiet and others in her position throughout the industry also remained silent when such attacks are made, no progress would be made.
Brown is Facing a Public Backlash
Brown has a tough road ahead of him now that he has made his misogynistic views known to the world. The Twitter community seized the opportunity to chastise Brown for his attack on Kimes, tweeting insults of their own at the sports commentator throughout the day on Monday.
Support also flowed in for Kimes. Drea Blackwell, a sports anchor with KSBW, wrote the following on social media: “You are exceptional and I know you don’t need me to tell you that. Thank you for being a role model for young girls who love sports. Hopefully one day we will live in a world where they don’t get similar comments.”
Dan Orlovsky, a fellow football commentator on ESPN’s Get Up morning show also chimed in on the written attack against his colleague. Orlovsky stated, “1) I don’t eat fast food 2) you wear heels? 3) you’re brilliant.” The comment reaffirms the merit of women being capable of intelligently commenting on a sport solely played by men.
Kimes Will Trudge Forth
Those who don’t think kindly of women who attempt to make a living discussing sports played by men shouldn’t hold out hope that the likes of Kimes will be intimidated or quit. Kimes has been one of the most respected talents at ESPN since signing with the network seven years ago. Kimes is featured on a litany of ESPN programs throughout the morning, afternoon, and evening. If anything, the nasty email sent by Brown can be used as motivation for Kimes to perform even better in her role as an NFL analyst.
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Though Kimes has not played football at a competitive level due to her diminutive stature, she discusses the game with eloquence and cogency. Kimes is a hardcore football fan and an award-winning journalist. She is also a summa cum laude graduate of Yale University.