Fire Chief Removed After Racial Slur About NFL Coach

A Pennsylvania fire chief is apologizing after using a racial slur in a Facebook rant targeting Steelers coach Mike Tomlin.

Chief Paul Smith of the Cecil Township Volunteer Fire Department 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 NBC affiliate WPXI. "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."

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(Published Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2017)

A Pittsburgh-area volunteer fire chief has lost his post after using a racial slur to describe Steelers coach Mike Tomlin.

Paul Smith of the Muse Fire Company in Cecil Township wrote on Facebook that he added Tomlin to a list of "no-good" people he described with the slur. Smith said he was upset that Tomlin had instructed his team to stay in a stadium tunnel instead of standing on the field for the national anthem ahead of Sunday's game against the Chicago Bears as protests and displays of unity during the singing of the national anthem swept the NFL.

The Cecil Township Board of Supervisors said on its website Tuesday that Smith "is no longer the volunteer fire chief."

Former Cecil Township volunteer fire chief Paul Smith speaks to reporters in this undated photo. WPXI

"The Company is deeply saddened and does not condone or agree with the views of our former leader and we fully denounce his statement," said Ron Zombek, president of the Muse Fire Company.

Smith later apologized for his actions after NBC affiliate WPXI in Pittsburgh reported the story Sunday night.

"I am embarrassed at this. I want to apologize. I was frustrated and angry at the Steelers not standing for the anthem," he told the station. "This had nothing to do with my fire department. I regret what I said."

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that Smith resigned. He told the newspaper he's "not the racist the media portrays me as." He added that he "posted in anger."

Smith was on the job for 23 years and was recently promoted to chief.

See It: NFL Players Protest After Trump's Criticism Some members of the Oakland Raiders kneel during the playing of the national anthem before an NFL football game against the Washington Redskins in Landover, Maryland, Sunday, Sept. 24, 2017. AP Photo/Alex Brandon