Skip to main content

Pennsylvania Fire Chief Apologizes For Calling Mike Tomlin The N-Word

The fire chief called the Steelers' head coach the n-word on Facebook.

The Pittsburgh Steelers opted to stay in the tunnel while the national anthem played before the game in Chicago on Sunday.

Mike Tomlin, who was on the field while The Star-Spangled Banner played, told CBS the decision was made by the team because they didn't want to be divided. The Steelers have since said they could have handled it better and will be on the field moving forward.

Still, the Steelers' decision upset at least part of its fan base, including Pennsylvania fire chief Paul Smith, who disgustingly called Tomlin the n-word in a Facebook comment.

WPXI in Pittsburgh reported the story after several firefighters contacted the station about Smith's comment.

Pennsylvania fire chief interviewed on television.

From their report:

Chief Paul Smith was commenting on a post about the Steelers’ decision not to participate in the national anthem on the field and wrote, "Tomlin just added himself to the list of no good [n-words]. Yes I said it.”

Smith is captain of Cecil Township Volunteer Fire Department Number 2 in Muse. He is currently out of the country on vacation, but said he regrets the statement.

"I am embarrassed at this," he told Channel 11. "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."

The township manager said the board of supervisors is disturbed by the comment, though it's unclear what steps are going to be taken.