The Associated Press
Updated: July 28, 2020 09:23 PM
Created: July 28, 2020 06:18 AM
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The founder of the political group Cowboys for Trump urged people who support the playing of the Black National Anthem at football games to “go back to Africa.”
In a 35-minute video speech on Facebook live Sunday, Otero County Commissioner Couy Griffin of New Mexico said supporters of the Black National Anthem want to “destroy our country."
“They want to destroy our country. They want to talk about playing a Black national anthem before football games? I got a better idea, why don’t you go back to Africa and form your little football teams over in Africa and you can play on a(n) old beat-out dirt lot and you can play your Black national anthem there. How about that?” he said. “This is America, we play the National Anthem in America today.”
Griffin also said any person of color who didn’t identify as American first should leave.
At least 2,200 people watched the video before it was removed from the Cowboys for Trump website.
Harold Bailey, the president of the Albuquerque chapter of the NAACP, called the remarks some of the most hateful things he’s heard in recent memory.
New Mexico Speaker of the House Brian Egolf tweeted late Monday that Couy Griffin's comments were racist and demanded that he resign his seat on the Otero County Commission.
U.S. Rep. and Democratic Senate candidate Ben Ray Luján calls Griffin's remarks racist and hurtful and says both Democrats and Republicans should denounce him.
KOB 4 reached out to the Republican Party of New Mexico for comment, but did not receive a response.
However, Couy responded to KOB 4 Tuesday night. He said his intention is not to hurt people's feelings, but his love for the country, freedom and his son's future outweigh everything else.
"I simply stand on the divide that if you don’t love America and embrace the goodness of America than there are many other countries to move to," he said.
(Copyright 2020 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)