St. Louis -- A St. Louis newscaster has apologized for what he called an unintentional racial slur while referencing Martin Luther King Jr., nearly two weeks after the same phrasehis job . KTVI-TV's Kevin Steincross said during Thursday's 5 a.m. broadcast that an upcoming tribute would honor "Martin Luther Coon Jr."
Steincross apologized during the 9 a.m. broadcast. "We have heard from a viewer about a mistake I made in our 5 a.m. newscast," he said in the apology. "In our story about the tribute to Dr. King, I unfortunately mispronounced his name. Please know I have total respect for Dr. King, what he meant and continues to mean to our country. This was not intentional in any way, and I sincerely apologize."
The slain civil rights icon would have turned 90 years old on Jan. 15. The nation celebrates Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday.
KTVI says managers spoke with Steincross and believe the phrase was inadvertent and not reflective of his "core beliefs." Vice President of News Audrey Prywitch says no additional discipline is planned.
It's the second such incident this month
Upstate New York meteorologistwas fired after apparently calling a park named for the civil rights leader "Martin Luther Coon King Jr. Park." Kappell said the phrasing was unintentional. Longtime NBC broadcaster Al Roker, who is black, was among those defending Kappell.
An online "I Stand Behind Jeremy Kappell" petition seeking his reinstatement had nearly 60,000 supporters as of Saturday.
Kappell apologized and explained himself expansively during a four-minute Facebook video in which he speaks to the camera with his wife by his side.
In 2010, ESPN's Mike Greenberg reportedly made a similar slip-up pronouncing MLK's name and apologized for slurring his words. He was not fired.