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Sports Media Continues to Shield Mina Kimes from Criticism

Twitter is mad.

This time, former 49ers quarterback Jeff Garcia is the target of the wrath. Garcia committed a grave mortal sin when he criticized ESPN analyst Mina Kimes on Thursday.

Earlier this week, Kimes belittled Jimmy Garoppolo’s contribution to the 49ers, who advanced to the NFC Championship Game for the second time in three years. According to Kimes, the 49ers are winning despite Garoppolo, not because of him.

“Garoppolo is the definition of being part of a group project that gets an A, while doing none of the work,” Kimes said on Tuesday’s First Take.

An Instagram account called OurSF49ers shared this quip, which caught Garcia’s attention. Garcia then fired back in the comment section:

“Who the hell is Mina Kimes and when is the last time she threw a touchdown pass in a game? NEVER! EVER! has she taken a snap or can truly understand the ability, the mindset, the physical and mental toughness, that it takes to play the QB position or any position in the NFL.

The fact that there are people out there given a platform to talk about something that they have never done is hilarious and that’s how you have to look at her, she’s a joke! So let’s just laugh at her and support Jimmy, root on our Niners to go out and beat the living fuck out of one more team. That’s what it takes. She will never know that feeling. Can I get an AMEN? Peace.”

Because sports media members do not allow anyone to criticize Kimes, her colleagues and other bloggers immediately rushed to her defense, accusing Garcia of — wait for it — sexism. 

“Garcia sounded off on Kimes’ ‘group project’ comment by calling her out for essentially being a woman and never playing football at a competitive level,” Heavy writes.

No, he didn’t call her out for essentially being a woman.

Garcia’s comments are not sexist. Garcia believes that people who have never played football at a high level should not opine about those who have. That doesn’t mean women. It means all people who haven’t played professional football.

And therein lies the issue. Most NFL analysts, especially at ESPN, have played professional football. In fact, Kimes is the only person at ESPN, man or woman, who has never played professional football yet has the title of NFL analyst. Dan Orlovsky, Marcus Spears, Keyshawn Johnson and Ryan Clark all played in the NFL at one time or another.

Kimes has not. So it’s natural that former players might question her credentials. If ESPN allowed Matt Barrie — who also has never played high-level football — to break down game film, they would question his credentials too.

Now, that doesn’t mean Garcia is correct that analysts without a football background shouldn’t have an opinion about the game or a player. In fact, I strongly disagree with him. Just because someone hasn’t thrown a pass in the NFL doesn’t mean he or she can’t discuss a game in an informed and insightful manner.

For proof, look no further than Garoppolo’s team, the 49ers. Head coach Kyle Shanahan may be the brightest offensive mind in all of professional football, but he never played in the NFL. Moreover, Kimes’ point is fair. Garoppolo has been below average this postseason.

And yet, it seems that by hiring only former players to be NFL analysts — with the exception of Kimes — ESPN agrees with Garcia, that former players are the best talents to analyze the game.

Which raises a key question: does ESPN believe that Kimes is so exceptionally qualified that it hired her as an NFL analyst, despite the fact that she has never played? Or does the network merely like the positive press it receives for having elevated a woman to talk football as an analyst?

My guess is that the answers to those questions matter to the suits at ESPN and blue-check sports media, but not Garcia. Jeff Garcia is likely more concerned with defending his fellow NFL brethren than in deconstructing the hiring decisions at a sports network.

To the chagrin of the Twitter mob and Kimes’ co-workers, not every negative comment is rooted in sexism or racism. Nor should Kimes be immune to criticism. ESPN awarded Mina Kimes a significant platform at its network, a platform no other journalist there has. That kind of platform comes under scrutiny, both fair and unfair. Kimes is a high-profile sports analyst and good at her job. She is not a victim of sexism, as even she tries to claim.

However, it is sexist that Mina Kimes’ sports media colleagues don’t think she can handle criticism from football players. Think about that.

Written by Bobby Burack

Bobby Burack covers media, politics, and sports at OutKick.

15 Comments

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  1. Kimes is your typical ESPN bobblehead. She spouts hot takes instead of analysis. When called out, she cries racism or sexism. Sticking with her breakdown of Garappolo, this is the same “expert” who claims players like Tua and Justin Fields are great QBs despite their lack of success in the NFL.

    You don’t need to have played in the NFL to analyze the NFL. Many, many sportswriters have done it at high levels for decades. Kimes seems to think being an Asian women automatically makes her Steve Sabol

  2. This column makes no since. Bobby didn’t play sports on ANY LEVEL and he writes about sports. And no, cornhole and curling doesn’t count. What she said was essentially right about Jimmy G. He’s no Matthew Stafford. Who the fuck are we kidding. Lay talks sports and he damn sure didn’t play sports. Again, look at Bobby, does anyone think he actually played sports? My point exactly

      • You don’t have to play sports to report on Sports you fool. That’s the point. I played in college, that doesn’t necessarily make me a expert. It’s not that fucking complicated unless you’re stupid as hell. Belicheck never played pro football and he is probably the greatest coach I. Pro football history behind Paul brown. Know your history please

        • “You don’t have to play sports to report on Sports you fool.”

          Then why are you on Burack’s case for not playing sports? When did Burack say Kimes couldn’t talk about sports? Jeff Garcia said she shouldn’t talk about football because she never played and Twitter whined about it. This isn’t about who played what sport, it’s about Garcia slamming Kimes’ opinion and all the rapists ERRRR male feminists coming to defend her. Did you even read the article? Rhetorical question.

          “Know your history please”

          What the fuck does your opinion on who greatest football coach of all time have to do with anything?

          “I played in college, that doesn’t necessarily make me a expert. It’s not that fucking complicated unless you’re stupid as hell. ”

          You are stupid as hell because you’re blaming Burack for something Jeff Garcia said. And the only things you’re an expert in are illiteracy, bad grammar, regurgitated hashtags, comically bad spelling errors, and race baiting.

          • No.you dumb bastard. Mis made her comments and she didn’t need anyone to defend her. That’s the point dumbass. And the only reason he even writes an article like this is to.pander to awm like yourself who inherently triggered by sports to begin with. This is just an outlet so you can get your inner Maga off which has always been there. Let’s be real…

        • “Mis made her comments and she didn’t need anyone to defend her. That’s the point dumbass.”

          Tell that to all the Blue Checks on Twitter. They’re the ones doing it, not me, not Burack, not anyone else here.

          “And the only reason he even writes an article like this is to.pander to awm like yourself who inherently triggered by sports to begin with.”

          If I’m here to be pandered to by Bobby Burack then why did I criticize him TWICE yesterday? Oh that’s right, you just assume from a fucking dog picture that I’m white MAGA thumper and don’t bother to do any research. Shut the fuck up you stupid, ignorant racist.

          “This is just an outlet so you can get your inner Maga off which has always been there. Let’s be real…”

          Then fucking leave. That’s what I’m doing when my membership expires in a couple months. Are you? Or are you going to keep paying Fox News so you can keep telling off all the “AWM” who refuse to listen to you because everything you say is racist and/or makes no sense?

          And by the way, none of this has anything to do with what I said. Why? Because you can’t defend it, which means it’s back to the race card. You got a lot of balls accusing Herschel Walker of having CTE when you talk and type like your mother piledrived you into the floor as a kid.

        • His point is the exact one you are making. That while you don’t have to play sports to analyze sports, Mina Kimes SUCKS at analyzing sports. But when she is called out for her analysis, or lack thereof, she hides behind knee jerk claims of sexism or racism instead of taking it. Hence why he referenced Matt Barrie, who never played football, as an example of someone who could be criticized if he issued a similar analysis, but can not hide behind the “you’re sexist/racist” bullshit that Kimes did when criticized by Jeff Garcia, and has routinely done through her short ESPN career.
          But it seems that point eluded you, as you are hilariously defending Kimes using the same argument Bobby did to explain why her response is pathetic.

          Maybe you should take some time to see what Kimes says on ESPN. You might think twice before pretending she is the next Kirk Herbstreit or Louis Riddick.

  3. I don’t agree with Garcia’s points, but she should be able to handle criticism on her own without calling someone sexist. And yes it’s clear that she was hired primarily because she is a woman since it’s all hands on deck when she is criticized.

    Speaking of criticism, Orlovsky is awful too, plus I can’t take him seriously when he rolled out the back of the end zone without be pressured….. I just can’t.

  4. Not a Cam Newton guy, but when everyone was on his ass for laughing at the gal who asked him questions after a hard practice, I was the first person to call ESPN radio and defend him.

    Same with McEnroe and his comments about Serena Williams getting her ass kicked by every ranked male ATP player from 150 on.

    Anyone can talk about sports, but if you haven’t played, and especially if you literally physically can’t play the sport you’re talking about because you’re the opposite sex, be prepared to be called a dumbass by professional athletes.

    Period. ESPN used to have good shows. Now they have Around the Horn, aka 3 lesbians and a gay dude. None of whom have any experience at anything they cover.

    It would be like me doing play by play of a quilting competition. I wouldn’t know shit either.

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