Football coach hugs Nazi in viral video and asks “Why do you hate me?”

A video of the moment that 31-year-old football coach Aaron Courtney hugged a Nazi outside a recent white nationalist event at the University of Florida has gone viral.

Videos by Rare

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Courtney, who is black and lives in Gainesville, says he wasn’t aware of Richard Spencer’s visit or his aspirations — including the creation of a white “ethno-state” and “peaceful” ethnic cleansing — until he received a notice on his phone that Florida Governor Rick Scott had declared a state of emergency ahead of the visit.

That’s when Courtney decided to check out the the event. Upon seeing a man outside the event — identified as Randy Furniss — wearing a shirt emblazoned with swastikas, Courtney told the New York Daily News:

“I could have hit him, I could have hurt him, but something in me said, ‘You know what? He just needs love.'”

Unlike other protesters who were jeering at the Nazi, Courtney embraced him, asking “Why don’t you like me, dog?”

Later, he called the interaction an “opportunity,” adding that he’d been at the protest for about four hours and was getting ready to leave when he saw Furniss.

“I had the opportunity to talk to someone who hates my guts and I wanted to know why…  During our conversation, I asked him, ‘Why do you hate me? What is it about me? Is it my skin color? My history? My dreadlocks?'”

He says Furniss did not respond.

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