Jeremy Kappell, who was fired as chief meteorologist at NBC affiliate WHEC in Rochester, said he made what sounded like a racial slur on accident by tripping on his words and never got the chance to publicly apologize before he was let go over the weekend. Kappell has since taken to Facebook to apologize.
Kappell told NBC's "Today" show Wednesday that he was talking too fast during a recent forecast while trying to pronounce Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s name. "This is the way it looked out in Martin Luther c--- King Jr. Park," he had said on air Friday. Kappell said he had "mashed together incorrectly" the words "king" and "junior."
Kappell was fired after outrage grew online, including from Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren. Kappell also has supporters, including NBC's Al Roker and Craig Melvin who both said it seemed Kappell had flubbed.
"For him to be called a racist — it just makes me very sad. I was sickened. We teach our children the message of loving others,” Kappell's wife, Lisa, told "Today."
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Similar on-air slip-ups — involving the same word — have also happened with two other local weathermen and a former ESPN host, "Today" reported.