MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- An NAACP spokesman said the organization will investigate accusations that a California man hired to announce Minnesota Vikings games made racist comments on his radio show.
Lee Hamilton, whose talk-radio show is heard on XTRA in Los Angeles, San Diego and Orange County, was hired in May by the Vikings and KFAN Radio, which broadcasts Vikings games.
Among other complaints, Hamilton allegedly questioned whether blacks have the ability to do sports-talk radio. He also allegedly referred to Boston Red Sox pitcher Hideo Nomo, who is Japanese, as a "fat Jap."
Nathaniel A. Khaliq, president of the NAACP's St. Paul branch, said if the allegations are true, Hamilton is not fit to announce Vikings games.
Khaliq learned about the alleged comments from Larry Fitzgerald, sports editor of the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder, who wrote a column about Hamilton.
Vikings owner Red McCombs said he was aware of Fitzgerald's story.
"That's all I know about the situation," McCombs said Thursday. "There is no issue there that I'm aware of. It's the first and last I've heard of it."
Steve LaCroix, Vikings vice president of sales and marketing, said the team isn't dismissing the case. "We take any allegations of our employees or related personnel very seriously," he said. "All such matters will be looked at thoroughly."
Hamilton said the talk-radio format can lead to some heated discussions.
"Sometimes what you say does not come out quite right, and many times it is misinterpreted," he said. "I just don't think four controversial calls in 15 years should define my career."
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