Steelers coach Mike Tomlin and his players did not stand on the field during the national anthem in Chicago on Sunday
A Pennsylvania fire chief called Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin a ‘no good N*****’ on Facebook after the team refused to stand for the national anthem before Sunday’s game.
‘Tomlin just added himself to the list of no good N******. Yes I said it,’ Muse Fire Department chief Paul ‘Smitty’ Smith wrote in the comment section of an article about the Steelers’ protest.
Smith has since told Pittsburgh’s Channel 11 that he was ’embarrassed’ by his comment.
‘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 volunteer firefighter with over 23 years of experience, according to the Muse Fire Department website, Smith’s comment was revealed to Channel 11 by his fellow Washington County (Pa.) fire fighters who were uncomfortable with his use of a racial slur.
‘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,’ the township manager told Channel 11.
Paul Smith responded to the Steelers protest on Facebook by using a racial slur
It remains unclear if Smith will be disciplined for the comment.
The Steelers remained in the locker room during the national anthem on Sunday after President Donald Trump spent the better part of the weekend attacking the protesting NFL players for refusing to stand during ‘The Star-Spangled Banner.’
The protests began during the 2016 preseason when then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick took a knee to protest against police violence against minorities in America. The movement continued through last season and into this season despite the fact that the free-agent Kaepernick remains unsigned.
Over 200 players knelt, locked arms, raised a fist to the air or remained in the locker room during the national anthem on Sunday after Trump told an Alabama crowd on Friday that NFL owners should respond to player protests by getting ‘that son of a b***h off the field right now.’
According to Channel 11 in Pittsburgh, Smith responded to an article on Facebook by writing: ‘Tomlin just added himself to the list of no good N******. Yes I said it’
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said he regrets not being on the field for the national anthem before Sunday’s game
Smith isn’t alone in his regret.
Offensive tackle Alejandro Villanueva stood outside the locker room with his hand over his heart before the Steelers’ 23-17 loss in Chicago. However on Monday, the veteran who had been deployed to Afghanistan three times said he felt as though he threw his ‘teammates under the bus, unintentionally.’
‘Every single time I see that picture of me standing by myself,’ he told reporters on Monday. ‘I feel embarrassed.’
Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, on the other hand, said he wanted to be by Villanueva’s side, but he was prevented from reaching his teammate due to the overcrowded tunnel at Soldier Field.
‘When we came out of the locker room into that tunnel, it was a very small area,’ explained Roethlisberger. ‘There was a flag or something coming off the field so there were a bunch of Bears fans, coming off the field holding that thing going in front of us, so it kind of held us up.’
Pittsburgh Steelers offensive tackle Alejandro Villanueva, who served three tours with the Army in Afghanistan, stood for the anthem prior to Sunday’s game in Chicago