A fire chief in a town outside Pittsburgh targeted a racial slur at Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin on Facebook over the team’s decision stay in the locker room for the national anthem on Sunday.
Paul Smith, the chief of Cecil Township Volunteer Fire Station No. 2, wrote: “Tomlin just added himself to the list of no good (n------). Yes I said it.”
Smith’s use of the slur drew a rebuke from officials in Cecil, a town located about 20 miles southwest of Pittsburgh.
“The Cecil Township Board of Supervisors is deeply disturbed by the comments made by Volunteer Fire Chief Smith, and in no way, shape or form condone his comments,” the board of supervisors said in a statement.
Smith himself told a TV station that he regretted his comments.
“I am embarrassed at this,” Smith told KDKA-TV. “I want to apologize. I was frustrated and angry at the Steelers not standing for the anthem. This had nothing to do with my fire department. I regret what I said.”
A message left with Cecil town manager Donald A. Gennuso was not immediately returned on Tuesday.
A nearby fire company in Cecil (No. 3) wrote on its Facebook page it “does not condone or support the comments made” by Smith.” The Facebook page for Smith’s company was not online Tuesday afternoon.