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Official Fired Over Calling NFL Players 'Monkeys'

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A Massachusetts official has resigned after he posted a comment referring to NFL players who don't stand for the national anthem as "monkeys."

Stephen Pina, a member of the Parks and Recreation Commission in Brockton, resigned after a racially charged comment on a Facebook post about NFL players kneeling during the national anthem to protest abuses against people of color in America, according to Mass Live.

"Turds, your dumb a*s isn't paid to think about politics," wrote Pina, adding, "Dance monkey dance."

Pina said that he didn't intend the comment to be racist.

"It was not meant to be a racist comment, and if it was taken as such that's regrettable," he said.

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Bill Carpenter, the mayor of Brockton, called for Pina's resignation after the comment.

Carpenter acknowledged that Pina had lived in Brockton his entire life and is a veteran, but said "that's all overridden by today's comments," and that he doesn't see how Pina "can continue in that role."

Pina stepped down after the mayor's request for his resignation.

The topic of NFL players protesting during the national anthem has been a heated debate in recent days since comments from President Donald Trump suggesting that players who did not stand for the anthem should be "fired," according to SB Nation.

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"Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, 'Get that son of a b***h off the field right now, out, he’s fired!'" said the president during a rally. "You know, some owner is going to do that. He’s gonna say, 'That guy disrespects our flag, he’s fired.' And that owner, they don't know it. They don’t know it. They're friends of mine, many of them. They don’t know it. They'll be the most popular person, for a week. They'll be the most popular person in the country."

Trump doubled down on the comments on Twitter over the course of the following weekend.

On Sept. 26, Trump tweeted that the NFL should ban players from protesting during the anthem, USA Today reports.

"The NFL has all sorts of rules and regulations," tweeted Trump. "The only way out for them is to set a rule that you can't kneel during our national anthem!"

NFL players and owners have spoken out against Trump's comments, including the Dallas Cowboys and owner Jerry Jones, who knelt in unison before the anthem, then stood and locked arms during it, according to The Washington Post.

Wide receiver Dez Bryant said the Cowboys were responding to Trump's comments.

"I feel like that's the true definition of unity," said Bryant. "Trump can't divide this."

Sources: Mass Live (2), USA Today, SB Nation, The Washington Post / Featured Image: Johann Schwarz/Flickr / Embedded Images: Gage Skidmore/Flickr, Pixabay

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