Anchor Kyle Cornell, 26, used the description of Harris in a news promo spot that aired during WTAM radio’s broadcast of a Cleveland Indians baseball game, Cleveland.com reported.
Some baseball fans quickly posted negative reactions on social media, Cleveland’s WKYC-TV reported.
“The U.S. officially has its first colored vice presidential candidate. More coming up after the game on Newsradio WTAM 1100 Cleveland,” Cornell announced, according to the news site.
“Colored” is considered an outdated term because many people associate it with slavery and the Jim Crow era of racial segregation and disenfranchisement.
After his firing, Cornell told WKYC that he meant no disrespect to Harris in using the word.
His phrasing “wasn’t meant to be malicious or in any sort of way trying to decimate the character of anyone,” Cornell told the station, according to Cleveland.com.
“That was never the goal and for that, again, I am truly sorry,” he continued. “For the station of WTAM too, I feel awful for putting them through what they’ve had to go through over the past 24 hours. … I just want them to understand it was a rough choice to make and that I accept my punishment.”
Ray Davis, WTAM’s program and promotions director, issued a statement announcing Cornell’s dismissal.
“We are aware of the reference made on WTAM by Kyle Cornell,” Davis said in a statement. “We take this matter very seriously and addressed it immediately. The term used is extremely offensive and does not align with our station’s core values and commitment to the communities we serve. He is no longer with WTAM.”
Harris, 55, formally accepted the Democratic Party’s vice presidential nomination at the party’s convention earlier this week. The junior U.S. senator from California is of Indian and Jamaican heritage and is the first woman from a racial minority to be nominated to a major party’s presidential ticket.
Cornell’s ouster came one day after MLB’s Cincinnati Reds suspended broadcaster Thom Brennaman after he was heard on air using an anti-gay slur while his game broadcast was coming back from a commercial break.