Mass. city official resigns after racist social media post about NFL players
A Massachusetts city official formerly employed with the Veterans Administration in metro Atlanta has been forced to resign from his post after he made a racist social media post about NFL players.
Stephen V. Pina was a member of the Parks and Recreation Commission for the city of Brockton, Mass., where he resides, for the past few years. Along with the volunteer position, which had been appointed by Brockton Mayor Bill Carpenter, Pina is also a coach on one of Brockton's Pop Warner football teams.
Under a Facebook photo of players from the New England Patriots kneeling during the playing of the national anthem on Sunday, Pina wrote, 'Turds your dumb (expletive) isn't paid to think about politics... dance monkey dance.'
Mayor Carpenter asked for, and received Pina's resignation on Monday, shortly before an emergency meeting with the NAACP.
The Pop Warner team that Pina coaches is primarily made up of kids of color. Parents like Amy Winston wonder about the messages Pina was sending.
"Saying that these people are 'monkeys' -- these brown football players are 'monkeys,' he's essentially calling the children he deals with, 'monkeys,'" Winston said.
Pina left the Atlanta VA office in 2013, and is now working as part of the management team of the VA's regional office in Providence, Rhode Island. Providence NBC station WJAR contacted the Veterans Administration office there and were sent a statement: "VA does not condone or tolerate such unacceptable comments from any of our employees. We are conferring with general counsel to determine the appropriate action to take."
According to federal records, Pina has been with the VA since 2007, first in Boston, then spending four years in Atlanta before moving to the Providence office.
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A reporter stopped by Pina's home for a comment on Monday, but got no answer to a knock on the door.
On Facebook, Pina wrote that he won't post anymore, "So that nothing is taken out of context and so that I do not offend anyone."
The Pop Warner team posted a message on Facebook, saying they are asking Pina to resign as a coach, as well. Parents and team officials are holding their own emergency meeting to discuss the situation.
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