A Pennsylvania Fire Chief felt pressured to resign after using a racial slur to attack the coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers, after the team’s anthem protest last Sunday.
Paul Smith, chief of Muse Township Volunteer Fire Department in Cecil, Pennsylvania, was furious after the Steelers refused to take the field in Chicago during the playing of the national anthem. He was so upset with coach Mike Tomlin that he wrote an angry Facebook post saying, “Tomlin just added himself to the list of no good N*****s. Yes I said it.”
Almost immediately, members of the community began expressing their shock over the comment.
As criticism of his post grew, the chief told the local CBS affiliate that he was embarrassed by his outburst.
“I am embarrassed at this. I want to apologize,” Smith told CBS Pittsburgh. “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 judgment by me, for which I am very embarrassed, for them and my township,” he added.
The city managers also released a statement saying the chief’s comments “deeply disturbed” them.
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.
Ultimately, Smith decided to resign. However, he also slammed the media for bringing his fire department as well as his family into the story.
The former fire chief also fully denied he is a racist.
“I regret what I said deeply, and I am not the racist the media portrays me as,” Smith said. “What I said was wrong and posted in anger.”
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.