Radio Host Chris Baker Fired Over 'Racist' Tweet About Derek Chauvin Verdict

A conservative radio host in Omaha, Nebraska, has been fired after posting a tweet about Derek Chauvin's guilty verdict that was branded racist.

Shortly after the verdict was handed down on Tuesday, KFAB talk show host Chris Baker tweeted the word "Guilty!" along with a gif of four Black tribesmen, dressed only in loincloths, apparently dancing in celebration.

Baker later deleted the tweet, and posted another one saying: "Not funny at all, stop it." But screenshots continued to circulate on Twitter, with some calling for Baker's termination and for advertisers to sever ties with his show.

This is a tweet that was posted then quickly deleted by Nebraska radio host @CBakerShow when the verdict was announced in the Derek Chauvin trial.

Racism like this is a FEATURE of conservative talk radio but they usually mask it with dog whistles.

But not this time. @kfabnews pic.twitter.com/3lr5TFyBhi

— Senator McCollister (@SenMcCollister) April 21, 2021

Baker was fired from KFAB on Wednesday, C. Taylor Walet III, the Nebraska area president of iHeartMedia, which owns the station, said in a statement to Newsweek.

His tweet was "completely inappropriate and unacceptable," Walet said. "Please know that this does not represent our viewpoint or our values, and we take this situation very seriously. Accordingly, Chris Baker's employment with our company has been terminated."

Baker's page on the KFAB website has been taken down, with visitors greeted with a message that says: "Sorry. The page is currently unavailable."

In a phone interview with the Newsweek, 64-year-old Baker apologized for what he said was as a "horrible mistake."

"I'm a one-man operation, who does a four hour radio show," he said. "And in my attempt to send out a tweet, I hit the wrong picture with my stupid fat thumb."

He claimed he had accidentally selected the wrong image while searching for a gif of people celebrating and had struggled to remove the tweet immediately.

"I tried to pull the thing down as quick as I could, but I also had an interview scheduled that at that moment, so I had to do the interview first," he said.

The deleted tweet was only up for around 15 minutes, Baker said, and he alerted KFAB management to inform them about it.

Asked if he thought the tweet he had posted was racist, Baker said: "If I had seen the post and not known the story, I would think the same thing."

But Baker also claimed his termination was harsh, saying that a controversial tweet recently posted by LeBron James about the officer who shot 16-year-old Ma'Khia Bryant in Columbus, Ohio, had remained up for far longer "and nothing happens to him."

"I'm a guy who made a horrible mistake, knew it and owned up to it immediately," he said. "What I did was horrible. I feel horrible about it and I paid the price," he added.

Nebraska State Senator Megan Hunt, a Democrat, likened calling Baker's tweet racist to water being "decried as wet."

water decried as wet

I'm frequently invited to be a guest on the @CBakerShow, but I do not allow racist shock jocks to use me to increase their ad revenue. KFAB provides a platform for this, and for that reason I cannot support them.https://t.co/h2ZcLxydFW

— Senator Megan Hunt 😷 (@NebraskaMegan) April 21, 2021

"I'm frequently invited to be a guest on the @CBakerShow, but I do not allow racist shock jocks to use me to increase their ad revenue," Hunt added. "KFAB provides a platform for this, and for that reason I cannot support them."

Nebraska State Senator John McCollister, a Republican, tweeted a screenshot of Baker's deleted tweet, adding: "Racism like this is a FEATURE of conservative talk radio but they usually mask it with dog whistles. But not this time."

And Krysty Becker, of Omaha-based nonprofit Inclusive Communities told KETV that it was a "direct, racist comment."

"He joined it with an action that was intended to disempower and an action that was intended to mock," Becker said.

KFAB and iHeartMedia have been contacted for additional comment. Baker could not immediately be reached for comment.

Derek Chauvin, a former Minneapolis police officer, was convicted of murder and manslaughter in the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, on Tuesday afternoon after a weekslong trial in Minneapolis.

Cellphone video footage showing Chauvin, who is white, kneeling on a handcuffed Floyd's neck for more than 9 minutes in May last year triggered worldwide protests against police brutality and a national reckoning on race.

Update 4/22/21, 1 p.m. ET: This article has been updated with comments from Baker.

People celebrate in George Floyd Square
People gather as they celebrate at George Floyd Square after the verdict was announced in the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin in Minneapolis, Minnesota on April 20, 2021. Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images