Weathermen Jeremy Kappell made headlines this week after referring to a park in downtown Rochester, N.Y. named after Dr. Martin Luther King as “Martin Luther Coon.” Kappell realized his verbiage and immediately fixed his on-air mistake, but was subsequently fired by his station manager at NBC News 10.
Dr. Bernice King, the daughter of the slain civil rights icon, says Kappell should face repercussions for the slur he used, but termination may have taken things too far.
“I believe when these racial slurs occur unless there’s a situation when they’re continual, that people need an opportunity to be rehabilitated,” King said. “We don’t focus a lot on rehabilitation in our society today.”
A clip of Kappell’s mistake made the rounds on social media last week, which angered those who viewed it. King said while Kappell shouldn’t have been fired, he should have to take some training.
“Part of that is, yes- there has to be some repercussions,” she continued. “I don’t think it should go as far in this particular instance as firing an individual. I think demoting, giving them another assignment off air, sending them through some training, some implicit bias training, re-evaluating to see where they are is a better solution in this particular instance.”
Al Roker took to social media to side with Kappell stating his slur was an “unfortunate flub.”
— Al Roker (@alroker) January 9, 2019
Kappell created a video with his wife and called the incident a “misunderstanding.” No word on whether or not he’ll get his job back.