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Mass. official resigns after telling NFL protesters to 'dance monkey dance

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Image source: TheBlaze

Stephen Pina, a commissioner for the Parks and Recreation Department in Brockton, Massachusetts, resigned after receiving backlash for comments he made on social media about NFL protesters.

MassLive reported that Pina resigned after Brockton Mayor Bill Carpenter caught wind of the incident and requested Pina's resignation.

What did he say?

MassLive reported that Pina commented on a news story shared on Facebook and referred to kneeling New England Patriots players as "turds," and told them to "dance monkey dance."

"Turds, your dumba** [sic] isn’t paid to think about politics…dance monkey dance," he wrote, according to The Brockton Enterprise.

What was the end result?

Pina resigned from his post at the Parks and Recreation Department after Brockton Mayor Bill Carpenter caught wind of the incident and requested his resignation. Pina issued the following statement:

It was not meant to be a racist comment, and if it was taken as such that’s regrettable. I want to set the record straight.

Pina explained that he had heard the expression "dance monkey dance" on a local sports radio station various times, and said that he used the phrase to express his displeasure at the actions of the kneeling players.

Pina also told The Brockton Enterprise that he is a veteran who has respect for the American flag and believes that all Americans — including NFL players — should respect the national anthem as well. He admitted that he "may have been caught up" in the anti-kneeling rhetoric during the tumultuous football weekend, and said "I got sucked into the whole social media paradigm."

What have others said?

According to the Enterprise, Phyllis Ellis of the Brockton Area Branch NAACP weighed in on the issue and condemned Pina's remarks, and said that hearing them on the radio is no excuse for using the phrase.

"I think it’s disgraceful," Ellis said. "When a black person hears 'monkey,' that’s racial discrimination. I don’t know what he’s talking about. To use his phrase, he cannot dance around this. It is what it is. It’s racial."

Brockton Mayer Bill Carpenter also voiced his disgust at Pina's comments: "I’m offended, I’m troubled, and I’m disappointed with the remark. He has to be held accountable. I don’t think an apology is good enough I believe the proper and best outcome would be for him to voluntarily step down from the commission."

Ellis told the Enterprise that she invited Carpenter to speak at an NAACP meeting next week.

Carpenter accepted the invitation and said, "I want to state unequivocally to [the NAACP] that this is unacceptable, and we’re not going to accept it or tolerate it. I’m going to apologize personally on behalf of the city."

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