- Kevin Stitt threw his weight behind the blood sport in a filmed message to a rally
- YouTube has since flagged the footage and taken down the video of the speech
- Cockfighting has been banned in Oklahoma since 2002
The governor of Oklahoma has been blocked by YouTube after posting a video in support of legalizing cockfighting.
Republican Kevin Stitt threw his weight behind the blood sport with a filmed message to a rally and fundraiser for the state’s gamefowl commission last week.
‘Oklahomans like yourselves remain dedicated to the spirit of competition and comradery that runs deep in our communities,’ he said in the clip that’s still live on Vimeo.
He added that while he couldn’t attend the rally on November 12, the Republican would ‘cheer them on from the sidelines.’
YouTube has since flagged and taken down a video of the speech posted to the site by Animal Wellness Action.
‘Content showing the malicious infliction of physical or psychological harm to animals isn’t allowed on YouTube,’ they said, though the video is merely a speech and doesn’t show any cockfighting footage.
‘We review educational, documentary, artistic, and scientific content on a case-by-case basis. Limited exceptions are made when sufficient context is included.’
Several members of the Oklahoma Gamefowl Commission were charged with illegal cockfighting as recently as August.
Animal Wellness Action, in a statement, said they weren’t necessarily supportive of the video’s deletion but they hope it leads more people to understand their perspective on cockfighting.
‘While we don’t support the take-down of Gov. Stitt’s video valentine to cockfighters, the YouTube action is yet one more indicator that his statement promotes the criminal enterprise of cockfighting and the bloodletting that results from staged animal combat,’ said President Wayne Pacelle.
‘Governor Stitt can get himself on the right side of this issue by saying he opposes cockfighting and any bill to weaken the state’s voter-approved law.’
Former Oklahoma Governor Fred Keating and former Attorney General Drew Edmondson joined Animal Wellness Action in slamming Stitt for his speech.
Cockfighting has been banned in Oklahoma since 2002, according to KFOR, though there have been recent efforts to lessen the punishment for the practice. Both bills fell in the State Senate.
The Republican Stitt has faced challenges over the construction of a would-be new governor’s mansion and the driving exploits of both his wife and son.
Stitt in 2022 faced backlash for quietly plotting to build a new $6.5million official Governor’s mansion on the grounds of the capitol complex after moving out of the original mansion – which has housed every first family in the last 90 years.
The subterfuge, first revealed by KFOR, has seen critics question who is ponying up six-figure donations to Stitt – and what private favors the powerful lawmaker may be doing for them in return.
Stitt has long boasted of his commitment to transparency, but has now refused to reveal the names of his donors, although he is not required by law to do so.
GOP State Representative Logan Phillips is among those unimpressed by the governor’s antics.
He said: ‘Who’s donating? What are they getting kickbacks on? I guarantee they are.
‘We have no bid contracts here, and the Governor is using this as a way to garner funds for himself or garner funds for his bank system. This is self-enrichment and self-dealing at its very core.’
The mega-mansion plot was uncovered after Stitt allegedly called the original governor’s in mansion in Oklahoma City ‘uninhabitable’.
That comes despite $2million renovations being completed last year, which gave the mansion a new roof, windows, heating system, kitchen, and plumbing and structural improvements.
He and wife Sarah – a controversial figure who escaped punishment in 2021 after causing two crashes in taxpayer-funded SUVs – have moaned mold in the property is making their children sick.
They have complained even after millions in taxpayer money was used to improve the home, which the governor does not even live in.
Instead, Republican Stitt and his family moved out of the home soon after August 2019, when he purchased a $2.7 million dollar estate at Oak Tree Golf and Country Club.
He then started planning to build a new, lavish Governor’s mansion, and presented the idea to former first families – none of whom supported the proposition.
The Stitts are said to have defended their scheme by saying the proposed new mansion won’t cost taxpayers a thing. But others have countered that Oklahoma taxpayers will have to pay for the upkeep of the new property, as well as the historic mansion, after the Stitts leave office.
Insiders claim that when Stitt, 49, entered the 14,000 sqft historic home in 2019, it had fallen into ‘disrepair’ and there was mold in the heating and ventilation systems.
This made the family’s six children sick, according to KFOR.
The historic mansion, which was opened in 1928 and has housed 19 Governors in the state, was a fire hazard and ‘not conductive for family living.’
Stitt’s wife Sarah has also been plagued by scandal.
She smashed two new state-owned Chevrolet Suburban SUVs in 2021, but she was not reprimanded for either collision, even though cops said her terrible driving was to blame.
Stitt’s son was also in trouble when he was caught drunk driving in 2022 and told officers that his dad was the governor.