ALTOONA, Iowa – Support for Carson King and his viral effort to raise money for an Iowa children’s hospital continues to grow after controversy and outrage surrounding a Des Moines Register’s story, which included racially insensitive tweets king made as a teenager, arose earlier this week.
King tells Channel 13 Sports Director Keith Murphy that $1.7 million has now been raised for the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital as of around 11:00 a.m. Thursday. Money has been flowing into King’s Venmo account since Sept. 14th, when he held up a funny sign during ESPN’s College GameDay requesting beer money.
More than a half a million dollars in donations have come in since Tuesday night when King apologized for the racially-insensitive tweets he posted eight years ago, when he was 16.
“It was brought to my attention by a reporter for the Des Moines Register and once he pointed it out and I went back and looked at it, I was…I was really upset with myself,” King said. “Obviously, you know I’ve made mistakes in my past, everyone has. And you know, I think… I really hope people see that you at this point in my life, I’m grown…I’m more than…I’m caring, I’m generous and I just…you know… I hope that’s what people focus on.”
Carson praised the Register, saying “The Des Moines Register has been nothing but kind in all of their coverage, and I appreciate the reporter pointing out the post to me. I want everyone to understand that this was my decision to publicly address the posts and apologize. I believe that is the right thing to do.”
Now, the social media posts of the Register reporter who wrote the controversial story are under fire. Aaron Calvin shut down his Twitter account Tuesday night after tweeting an apology for his own “inappropriate and insensitive” tweets.
The Des Moines Register said it is investigating “inappropriate” posts made by one of its staffers. It has not named the staffer and has declined to make further comment.
Busch Beer and Venmo pledged to match the donations to King’s account and both still plan to do so, even though Anheuser-Bush officially severed their relationship with King after becoming aware of the tweets.
Wednesday, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds signed a proclamation declaring Saturday will officially be known as Carson King Day in the state.
King will be at the Iowa vs. Middle Tennessee State game at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City on Saturday to participate in “The Wave” to the children at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital.
Donations to King’s Venmo account, carson-king-25, will be accepted through the end of the month.