Maricopa County NAACP Pres. Don Harris considers resignation after 'sexist' comment

PHOENIX - The president of the Maricopa County NAACP late Wednesday night walked back comments that he had resigned.

Earlier in the evening, Don Harris told ABC15 that he submitted a letter of resignation to members of the NAACP board.

The talk of resignation began after Harris made a controversial comment about a Valley TV reporter while outside a meeting decrying the use of the “N” word.

Don Harris said he is sorry for saying that a female KPNX-TV reporter had "nice tits." He said it was a "stupid thing to say" and that he "screwed up." He also called his comment "inexcusable."

“Am I sorry? You bet I’m sorry,” he said in a phone interview. Before his resignation, Harris served for 13 months as chapter president of the National Association of the Advancement of Colored People.

The Phoenix New Times reported that Harris made the comment about the woman to their reporter Ray Stern Tuesday. Media outlets were gathered outside at a private meeting held by the Tempe Union High School District to address a viral photo of six Desert Vista High School girls spelling out the "N" word with their T-shirts.

Community leaders, including Harris, met at the school to work toward resolution to that situation; Harris said he’s worked in the past to “bury” the n-word.

Following the meeting, Harris spoke with several reporters. After talking with the female TV reporter, Harris turned to Stern and made the comment about the TV reporter. Stern recorded the interaction.Click here to listen to the audio.

Harris said he does not believe the TV reporter could hear him.

Harris said he understands the optics of blasting the use of a racial epithet at the meeting, then stepping outside and making a "sexist” comment about the reporter.

“It was a guy talking to another guy,” Harris said. “That still doesn’t make it acceptable.”

KPNX-TV released the following statement about the incident:

“Today, we were made aware of a Phoenix News Times digital article and audio post that references one of our on-air reporters: Monique Griego. Monique does not wish to comment on this article and we certainly respect her wishes. As a news organization, my editorial team will treat this story as we would any other story: with a fair, unbiased approach as a part of our normal news gathering. 12 News supports Monique Griego and all of our reporters and photojournalists who cover the people and issues of Arizona for you every day.”

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