"I don't want to compare suffering," Simmons said in response to a reporter who asked if he thought animal abuse was a bigger deal than the Holocaust. "Do you not like the word Holocaust? It's a f----- Holocaust."
Simmons later said he doesn't plan to apologize in an interview with the New York Observer, and said he's likely the "leading black person to combat anti-Semitism in this country."
At least two city council members have called on Simmons to apologize.
"I respect Mr. Simmons' passion for animal rights and while, by his own admission, he did not intend to offend, his comparison of the treatment of animals to the treatment of Jews by the Nazis is simply outrageous," said Bronx Council Member Andrew Cohen. "In making such an egregious statement he is dehumanizing the victims of the holocaust."