A Michigan firefighter who’s also a former Marine is out of a job after posting racist comments on Facebook.
Ryan Hudson, 40, formerly of the Belding Fire Department, commented on a post about Republican President-elect Donald Trump that shifted to a debate on NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who drew headlines this season for kneeling during the national anthem in protest of America’s treatment of minorities.
“F*** Black Lives Matter. You are the epitome of a [N-word] and if you think it’s just black lives kiss my a** b**** and go back to the fields that us in the north fought to free you from,” one of Hudson’s comments read, WOOD-TV reported.
The woman Hudson targeted took screenshots of his comments and shared them online before he could delete them, the station said.
Once Belding Fire Chief Gregg Moore got wind of Hudson’s comments, he fired him Monday, WOOD reported.
“Utter shock,” Moore told the station regarding his reaction to Hudson’s comments. “The repercussions here were obvious. … We made immediate termination of this employee.” Moore said Belding’s city manager and the firefighter’s union supported his decision, WOOD said.
“It’s very out of character for me,” Hudson told WOOD. “I’m truly sorry from the bottom of my heart because it doesn’t reflect everybody.”
The woman Hudson targeted — a California resident who gave only her first name, Tarvenia, to WOOD — said she hopes Hudson lives out a “true apology.”
“The idea is to correct it and really show remorse by how you live your life,” she told the station. “That’s a true apology — what you’re teaching your children.”
“Yes, we do have free speech in this country, but free speech does not mean you’re safe from the consequences of your free speech and your decisions,” she told WXMI-TV. “We don’t just get to spout off at the mouth and spew hatred and ignorance.”
Hudson had been with Belding as a paid on-call firefighter for about a year, and Moore said he’d done a good job and was never in any trouble before this incident. The chief added that he’d never had to remove an employee before, either.
Moore added to WOOD that Hudson’s words were “absolutely the worst” and a “very vicious attack that I would not expect from somebody who helps people.”
Hudson told the station the Kaepernick dust-up set him off given his time as a Marine and that he’s not racist.
“I served with black people,” Hudson told WOOD. “I was willing to die for them.”