Fire Chief Steps Down After Calling NFL Coach Racial Slur

Paul Smith was upset Steelers remained in tunnel during Sunday's national anthem
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 27, 2017 2:49 PM CDT
Fire Chief Who Called Steelers Coach the N-Word Resigns
Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin stands on the sidelines during the first half of an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings in Pittsburgh, Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017. The Steelers won 26-9.   (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

A Pennsylvania fire chief has stepped down from his position after posting a racial slur about the coach of the Pittsburgh Steelers. "[Mike] Tomlin just added himself to the list of no good N-----s. Yes I said it," Paul Smith wrote on Facebook after the NFL team remained in the tunnel during the national anthem at Sunday's game. His post quickly drew outrage, and though he told KDKA he was "embarrassed" and regretted the post, ultimately he stepped down from the Muse Township Volunteer Fire Department in Cecil, Washington County, after the city manager got hundreds of calls and emails from people around the world complaining about Smith.

"The media dragged my fire company and township into this as well as my family," Smith says in a statement to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "I regret what I said deeply and I am not the racist the media portrays me as. What I said was wrong and posted in anger." The Cecil Township Board of Supervisors had issued a statement saying it was "deeply disturbed" by Smith's post. He had volunteered for the department for 23 years, but was only recently made chief. (More racial slurs stories.)

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