BOISE, Idaho -- The CEO of MPC Computers apologized to Boston College defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka on Thursday for making fun of his name during a banquet before the Eagles' bowl game against Boise State.
At a banquet Monday night before the MPC Computers Bowl between
the Eagles and Boise State, Mike Adkins read a list of the top 10
things Boise and Boston have in common, including, "No one in
either city can properly pronounce Mathias Kiwanuka." Adkins
mispronounced Kiwanuka's name in the punchline and some Boston
College players said later they found the joke insulting and
Kiwanuka is the grandson of Uganda's first prime minister,
assassinated by mass-murdering dictator Idi Amin. Adkins apologized
to Kiwanuka in a statement Thursday.
"The MPC Computers Bowl, whose roots are based on a
humanitarian model of service, would never attempt to discredit,
humiliate or offend anyone," said Gary Beck, the bowl's executive
director. "We again apologize to Mr. Kiwanuka for any discomfort
or embarrassment the speech at the event caused him or his family.
It was certainly unintentional and without any malice."
Beck said the game, which began its nine-year history as the
Humanitarian Bowl, would develop policies and procedures for guest
speakers at future events to ensure an impartial atmosphere.
Boston College coach Tom O'Brien credited the Boise State
boosterism at the banquet for inspiring his team to defeat the
Broncos on Wednesday night. The Eagles won 27-21.
"We go to a banquet that turns into a pep rally. I ought to
thank the mayor and the people of Boise for getting this team ready
to play," O'Brien said after the game. "There wasn't anything I
had to do to get this team ready."
Mayor David Bieter acknowledged Thursday that he had ended a
welcome speech at the banquet with a plug for the hometown Broncos,
who have participated in the bowl four of its nine years. But he
didn't believe his remark was out of line.
"As the mayor of the city, a little friendly comment seemed
appropriate," Bieter told the Idaho Statesman newspaper.