A gay weatherman in Minnesota was fired after sharing a Facebook post criticizing armed right-wing protesters for gathering outside the governor’s home to demand an end to the state’s stay-at-home order.
Sven Sundgaard, 39, had worked for KARE 11 in Minneapolis, Minn., for 14 years, but the station opted to cut ties with him after he shared a post by Michael Adam Latz, a rabbi in the city, Queerty reports.
The protesters massed outside the home of Gov. Tim Waltz (D) on April 17, after President Donald Trump tweeted for his supporters to “LIBERATE MINNESOTA!” The protesters waved Trump campaign flags and carried weapons including rifles, with one person also holding a sign with the word “Fuhrer” and an image of Waltz that had been altered to include a Hitler-style moustache.
— Evan Frost (@efrostee) May 2, 2020
In the Facebook post shared by Sundgaard, who converted to Judaism after being raised Christian, Rabbi Latz called the protesters “white nationalist Nazi sympathizer gun fetishist miscreants.”
After a far-right news outlet reported on the post, it was shared by former Republican Congressman Jason Lewis, who is currently running for a U.S. Senate seat in Minnesota.
Sundgaard later deleted the post, but KARE11 announced this month that he had been fired.
“Due to continued violations of KARE11’s news ethics and other policies, we have made the decision to part ways with Sven Sundgaard,” the station wrote on Facebook. “We hope you continue to turn to KARE 11 for your news, traffic, weather and more.”
However, the decision didn’t go down well with some of KARE 11’s viewers.
One person wrote that they are “on the side of science and Sven. Due to the poor ethics of KARE 11, I have decided to part ways with KARE 11.”
“Sad that a weatherman is held to a higher standard than our current president,” another person wrote.
This week, Sundgaard commented publicly for the first time on his dismissal, saying that he disagreed with KARE 11’s decision and was considering his options to respond.
“I first want to thank those who have supported and followed me throughout my time at KARE 11,” Sundgaard wrote on Facebook. “And, I am especially grateful to those who have sent supportive and kind messages over the last several days since the station so publicly announced that it had parted ways with me — and then published its alleged reasons for doing so.
“Your overwhelming support has been incredible. Thanks to those that have been sharing advice and information with me. Please keep all of this coming — it really does help me get through the days in this strange and difficult time.”
He continued: “Many have asked me about KARE11’s post regarding my employment and separation from employment. Here’s what I have to say about that for now: I disagree with and dispute my former employers claims and I am considering my options at this time. Thank you again.”
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