After Al Roker‘s strong stand against Megyn Kelly‘s blackface foolery last year we’re surprised to learn that the Today Show weatherman has come to the defense of the meteorologist who was fired this week for using a racial slur onair.
While describing a local park named for King, WHEC weatherman Jeremy Kappell, uttered “Martin Luther ‘Coon’” before correcting himself.
After outrage on social media from local civil rights leaders, and even Rochester mayor Lovely Warren, the station addressed the matter.
“As a result of that broadcast, meteorologist Jeremy Kappell is no longer with News10NBC,” WHEC general manager Richard A. Reingold said of the termination, which took place two days after the incident. “We believe strongly in holding our reporters and anchors to the highest standard.”
Kappell says it was simply a misunderstanding and a few jumbled words. In a message sent to Alan Majors, the viewer who first posted video of the slur, Kappell explained:
“I wanted to reach out to you and say thanks for bringing this unintentional, but terrible verbal blunder to my attention. I am both surprised and humiliated that those words could have stumbled out of my mouth.
“For the record, I have never in my life been accused of such a thing. However, for what it’s worth, it will probably cost me my 20 year career pursuing broadcast meteorology. It breaks my heart that my family will have to suffer as a result.”
Roker took to Twitter to share his thoughts, writing: “I think @JeremyKappell made an unfortunate flub and should be given the chance to apologize on @news10nbc Anyone who has done live tv and screwed up (google any number of ones I’ve done) understands,” Roker tweeted Wednesday.
— Al Roker (@alroker) January 9, 2019
Adam McFadden, Rochester City Common Council Vice President, who is African-American and initially called WHEC about the incident, says whether Kappell meant it or not, the damage has been done.
“Do I think he intentionally tried to sneak that in on air? That would be foolish. No I believe that was a mistake,” McFadden told theGrio. “Is it something that he heard…used before? I don’t know.”