A Pennsylvania fire chief dropped a racial slur on Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin on through his Facebook account.
Because Tomlin’s team decided not to go out in the field for the national anthem during their game against the Chicago Bears.
“Tomlin just added himself to the list of no good N****** for his decision to note take the field during the anthem. Yes I said it,” Paul Smith unashamedly wrote in the comment section of an article about the Steelers' protest.
Smith was chief of the Muse Volunteer Fire Company in Cecil Township. He lost his position after the comment went viral.
The coach and his players were protesting after Trump criticized NFL players for kneeling down during the anthem, called anyone who doesn’t stand for the anthem a "son of a bi***" and told his supporters such players should be fired.
Smith’s ignorant reaction is deeply concerning. Such racism coming from the chief of firefighters, who save lives of people, regardless of color, is atrocious to say the least.
Several people expressed their discontent over Smith’s racist comment. “I’m completely upset, especially for a town like this, coming from the fire chief, that’s disrespectful in my eyes,” said Cecil Township resident Dylan Pareso. “I don’t agree with it one bit.”
The Cecil Township Board of Supervisors also issued a statement. “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.
After the backlash, Smith apologized to the board for his misconduct.
“I am embarrassed at this,” he said. “I want to apologize. I was frustrated and angry at the Steelers not standing the anthem. This had nothing to do with my fire department. I regret what I said.”
Every day, more and more, high ranking officials and people whose words and actions matter, succumb to racist desires and only “realize their mistake” after they experience backlash for their discrimination.
It is quite sad they believe a simply worded apology can repair the harm their racist words and actions have done.
It does not and it is high time people who believe they can get away with racial slurs with impunity should be penalized for their actions.
Thumbnail Credits: Reuters, Dennis Wierzbicki