Jeremy Kappell, a meteorologist at a Rochester, New York television station, was fired on Sunday after allegedly using a racial slur during a broadcast.
According to The Hill, Kappell was let go by WHEC because he allegedly said “Martin Luther Coon” during the Friday evening broadcast when referening a local park named after civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.
Rochester's WHEC Channel 10 decided to slip a little racist reference to Dr King in close to his birthday. This aired 1/4/19 @ aproximately 5:30 pmListen as the newscaster decides that Martin Luther King should be referred to as Martin Luther Coon King and keeps it moving the other day. I have already asked for an explanation from WHEC about this:
Posted by Alan Majors on Saturday, January 5, 2019
The meteorologist claimed that he misspoke as a result of speaking “too fast.”
“What happened on Friday, to me, it’s a simple misunderstanding,” Kappell said in a Facebook video posted on Monday. “If you watch me regularly, you know that I tend to contain a lot of information in my weathercast, which forces me to speak fast and, unfortunately, I spoke a little too fast when I was referencing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., so fast to the point where I jumbled a couple of words.”
A heartfelt thanks to all those who have been supporting us. I wanted to take this time to explain our side of the story. Please keep my family in your prayers.
Posted by Jeremy Kappell on Monday, January 7, 2019
The usage of the racial epithet caused a stir on social media and in the Rochester community. As a result, Richard A. Reingold, the vice president and general manager of WHEC, announced that Kappell had been fired.
“As a result of that broadcast, meteorologist Jeremy Kappell is no longer with News10NBC,” Reingold said in a statement. “We believe strongly in holding our reporters and anchors to the highest standard.”
Kappell apologized for offending anyone but made it clear the slur is not what he said.
“I had no idea what some people could have interpreted that as and I know some people did interpret that the wrong way,” he said in conclusion. “That was not a word I said, I promise you that. If you did feel that it hurt you in any way, I sincerely apologize.”
This article originally appeared in Ebony.