University Professor Fired for Suggesting Harvey Is ‘Karma’ for Texans Supporting GOP

President Donald Trump holding Texas flag / Getty Images

The University of Tampa has fired a visiting sociology professor for suggesting that Hurricane Harvey is "karma" for Texas supporting the Republican Party.

Kenneth L. Storey, who appears to have since deleted his Twitter account, tweeted on Sunday: "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," the Washington Post reported Wednesday.

The university denounced his comments and said his tweet was posted on his private account and does not reflect the school's views.

"We condemn the comments and the sentiment behind them, and understand the pain this irresponsible act has caused," the university said Tuesday.  "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."

After Storey's initial tweet, the Tampa Bay Times reported that he tweeted two more responses before deleting his account, according to the Post.

On Monday, he tweeted an apology, according to the Times: "I deeply regret the statement I posted yesterday. I never meant to wish ill will upon any group. I hope all affected by Harvey recover quickly."

Storey told the Washington Post that his intention was to speak about the GOP's denial of climate change, and he never intended to be offensive.

"I apologize. I never intended it to be taken that way," he said. "Seeing the suffering of the people of Houston and knowing that I added more suffering to that, that's heartbreaking to me. We need to do what we can to support them right now, and I do not do that with those tweets."

Storey said that he understands why the university decided to fire him and that he does not "want others to be harmed by my actions."

Texas officials have confirmed that at least 22 people have died since Friday night, as Hurricane Harvey has devastated the state.

Storey's tweet did not seem to account for Houston, one of the most heavily hit areas from the storm, which is predominantly Democratic.

Former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton received 54 percent of the vote in the Houston area in the 2016 election. Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D., Texas), who represents much of the Houston area, won reelection last year with 73.5 percent of the vote. She has served in office since 1995.

The city's mayor, Sylvester Turner, is also a Democrat.