Martin Luther King Jr’s daughter is coming to the defense of a meteorologist who used a racist slur while saying her dad’s name.
Dr. Bernice King spoke to TMZ about Jeremy Kappell, a weatherman from Rochester, NY who was fired from WHEC when he referred to a park named after her dad as “Martin Luther C*on Jr. Park.”
“I believe when these racial slurs occur, unless there’s a situation where it’s continual, that people need an opportunity to be rehabilitated and we don’t focus a lot of rehabilitation,” she told TMZ. “There have to be some repercussions, but I don’t think it should go as far as firing an individual.”
King said that a demotion, reassignment and bias training would have been acceptable.
Kappell apologized for the comments he made on Feb. 4 saying that he slurred his words.
“What happened on Friday, to me, it’s a simple misunderstanding,” said Kappell 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.”
He added, “in my mind, I knew I mispronounced, but there was no malice. . . . I had no idea the way it came across to many people.”
King is not the only public personality to defend the meteorologist. Today Show weatherman Al Roker came to Kappell’s defense on Twitter saying that it was a slip of the tongue.
“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,” he wrote.
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.
— Al Roker (@alroker) January 9, 2019