An openly gay Twin Cities weatherman broke his silence Tuesday after being fired last week for sharing a post that was critical of gun-toting, right-wing, anti-lockdown protesters in Minnesota.
Sven Sundgaard, a 39-year-old St. Paul native, had worked at KARE-TV, the local NBC affiliate, for 14 years. Last month, he shared a post on his Facebook page from Minneapolis Rabbi Michael Adam Latz, who at one point referred to the anti-lockdown protesters as “white nationalist Nazi sympathizer gun fetishist miscreants.” (Sundgaard was raised Christian but converted to Judaism.)
The demonstrators had gathered outside Democratic Gov. Tim Walz’s residence on April 17 to protest his coronavirus stay-at-home order, after President Donald Trump tweeted to “Liberate Minnesota.” One protester held a sign showing a a penciled-in Hitler mustache on an image of Walz, with “Fuhrer” written above it.
Sundgaard’s post was later removed, but not before being picked up by the right-wing website Alpha News. And on Friday, KARE-TV announced on Facebook that “due to continued violations of KARE11’s news ethics and other policies, we have made the decision to part ways with Sven Sundgaard.”
On Tuesday, Sundgaard made his first public comments about his dismissal.
“Many have asked me about KARE11’s post regarding my employment and separation from employment,” Sundgaard wrote on Facebook and Instagram. “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.”
According to TwinCities.com, Sundgaard is “a prolific and popular social media user and stands among the highest profile LGBT people in the Twin Cities.”
Writing for CityPages, the local alt-weekly, Mike Mullen reported that Sundgaard’s post “was met with a flood of support, as more than a thousand Facebook fans have commented offering condolences, encouragement, or criticism of the station’s decision.”
“Gee, you’d think someone who inspires that kind of loyalty in people might be… worth holding onto?” Mullen wrote. “Based on the facts as currently known … we’re strongly team Sven until proven otherwise.”
Ditto for us. And, for the record, we’d still be “team Sven” even if he weren’t a ripped daddy. But since he is, here are a few thirsty pics: