A fire chief in Pittsburgh has apologized after calling Steelers coach Mike Tomlin a “no good n****r.”
Paul Smith, the chief of Cecil Volunteer Fire Station #2, posted the racial slur on Facebook in response to the Steelers choosing to stay in the tunnel at Chicago’s Soldier Field during the national anthem during Sunday’s football game.
The backlash against Smith’s comments was swift and unforgiving, with many calling him out for only stoking the flames of tension in an incredibly divided country and others calling for his dismissal outright.
While Smith is currently out of the country on vacation, he has responded to the backlash on Facebook, writing, “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,” he continued.
The Cecil Township Board of Supervisors also issued a statement on the situation, writing, “The Cecil Township Board of Supervisors is deeply disturbed by the comments made by Volunteer Chief Smith, and in no way, shape or form condone his comments. In that the volunteer fire departments are independent entities, the board suggests contacting the president of the Muse Fire Department regarding any further comment or action.”