Fire Chief Who Called Mike Tomlin Racial Slur Blames Media For Situation

The Pittsburgh-area fire chief who called Steelers coach Mike Tomlin a racial slur on Facebook has resigned, but he doesn’t sound entirely remorseful.

After Tomlin announced the Steelers would remain in the locker room during the national anthem Sunday, Paul Smith, who was chief of the Muse Township Volunteer Fire Department in Cecil, Penn., called Tomlin a “no-good” N-word in a comment on the social media site. Smith sent a statement to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Tuesday, but he blamed the media for his comment garnering so much attention.

“The media dragged my fire company and township into this as well as my family,” Smith wrote, adding, “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.”

Regardless of the national attention, Smith’s comment was public, and supervisors were “deeply disturbed” by it.

“Everyone who represents the township needs to be respectful of all people and this is certainly something we have no tolerance for,” Cecil Township manager Don Gennuso told the Post-Gazette.

Thumbnail photo via Charles LeClaire/USA TODAY Sports Images

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