The University of Tampa announced it has fired a professor who suggested in a tweet that Hurricane Harvey was "karma" for the state of Texas.
Since-deleted tweets from Kenneth Storey, a visiting assistant professor of sociology, spread across the internet after they were posted Sunday.
The first stated, "I don't believe in instant karma but this kinda feels like it for Texas. Hopefully this will help them realize the GOP doesn't care about them," according to the Tampa Bay Times, the Palm Beach Post and WFTS, a Tampa television station.
He followed that up by responding, "Well, the good people there need to do more to stop the evil their state pushes. I'm only blaming those who support the GOP there," according to the Tampa Bay Times.
Although Storey issued a public apology on Twitter, several reports said, the university announced Tuesday that they'd fired him, saying his words "do not reflect UT's community views or values."
"We condemn the comments and the sentiment behind them, and understand the pain this irresponsible act has caused," the university said in a statement. "As Floridians, we are well aware of the destruction and suffering associated with tropical weather. Our thoughts and prayers are with all impacted by Hurricane Harvey."
Storey told WFTS in a statement that his intention "was never to offend anyone. This was a series of tweets taken out of context."
The statement continued:
"I was referring to the GOP denial of climate change science and push to decrease funds from agencies that can help in a time like this. I hope all affected by the storm are safe and recover quickly. I also hope this helps the GOP realize the need to support climate change research and put in place better funding for agencies like NOAA and FEMA."
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