A Pennsylvania fire chief went too far in venting his frustration about the Pittsburgh Steelers staying off the field during the national anthem and used a racial slur against the team’s head coach, Mike Tomlin. The fire chief has now resigned from his position.
The Steelers, of course, made headlines when the whole team, with the exception of one player, didn’t appear on the field during the national anthem at the behest of Coach Tomlin. Tomlin later appeared to take a swipe at the one player, Alejandro Villanueva, for going onto the field during the anthem.
Many Steelers fan were unhappy, and Paul Smith, who was the chief of Muse Township Volunteer Fire Department in Cecil, angrily posted on Facebook, “Tomlin just added himself to the list of no good N*****s. Yes I said it.”
Smith received a serious backlash for his comment, including from the Cecil Township Board of Supervisors, who stated they were “deeply disturbed by” Smith’s post.
The former fire chief realized the mistake he made with his comment, prompting him to tell CBS Pittsburgh:
I am embarrassed at this. I want to apologize. I was frustrated and angry at the Steelers not standing the anthem. This had nothing to do with my Fire Department. I regret what I said.
My fire department should have never been dragged into this. It was a bad judgement by me, for which I am very embarrassed, for them and my township.
And on Tuesday, Smith told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette that he was stepping down from his position.
“The media dragged my fire company and township into this as well as my family,” said Smith.
Smith later added that despite his use of a racial slur, he is not a racist.
“I regret what I said deeply and I am not the racist the media portrays me as,” said Smith. “What I said was wrong and posted in anger.”