Al Roker: Meteorologist fired for saying racial slur should get 'chance to apologize'

Al Roker: Meteorologist fired for saying racial slur should get 'chance to apologize'
© Getty Images

NBC's "Today" co-host and meteorologist Al Roker on Wednesday said he believes the meteorologist fired for saying a racial slur should get a "chance to apologize." 

Local NBC affiliate WHEC chief meteorologist Jeremy Kappell was fired after he described a New York park named after Martin Luther King Jr. as "Martin Luther coon King Jr." Park on a Friday evening broadcast. 

ADVERTISEMENT

"I think @JeremyKappell made an unfortunate flub and should be given the chance to apologize on @news10nbc," Roker tweeted. "Anyone who has done live tv and screwed up (google any number of ones I’ve done) understands." 

Kappell previously said that he spoke "too fast" and said the word by accident.

"What happened on Friday, to me, it's a simple misunderstanding," Kappell said in a 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." 

"In my mind, I knew I mispronounced, but there was no malice," he added. "I had no idea the way it came across to many people."

The Rochester Association of Black Journalists has called for a "complete explanation" about what happened. 

WHEC's vice president and general manager Richard Reingold on Sunday 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 posted on the station's website. "We believe strongly in holding our reporters and anchors to the highest standard."