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Fire Chief Who Called Steelers Coach a ‘No-Good Ni**er’ Blames Media for Making Him Seem Racist, Resigns

The Pennsylvania fire chief who sparked outrage after spewing racial slurs at Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin resigned, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.

Washington County fire chief Paul Smith took to Facebook after Tomlin had his team stay in the locker room during the national anthem before Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears.

Smith wrote that Tomlin “just added himself to the list of no-good ni**ers.”

“Yes, I said it,” he added.

Smith resigned from his position after his remark caused an uproar, but blamed the media for his troubles.

“The media dragged my fire company and township into this as well as my family,” Smith told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

“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,” he added.

Smith worked for the department as a volunteer for 23 years and recently became chief.

Cecil Township Manager Don Gennuso said he received 550 calls and 450 emails from people outraged by what Smith said. Gennuso explained that the fire station is a separate legal entity that the township had no control over.

“They have their own charter and their own bylaws,” Gennuso told the Post Gazette.

The township has no legal right to fire employees but Gennuso said, “The board of supervisors ultimately could have some influence over them because they provide tax money.”

“Everyone who represents the township needs to be respectful of all people and this is certainly something we have no tolerance for,” he said.

Smith previously admitted that he was “embarrassed” by what he wrote.

“I am embarrassed at this,” he said in a statement. “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.”

“My fire department should have never been dragged into this. It was a bad judgement by me, for which I am very embarrassed, for them and my township.”

Some social media users believe Smith only regretted what he said because he got caught.

“You can’t be that embarrassed when you put it on a Facebook page,” ESPN host Jemele Hill tweeted. “Also means you think you have an audience for it.”

“Best believe, this wasn’t the first time this fire chief called Mike Tomlin or any black person n*gger,” she added. Hill herself has been the subject of racist attacks from Trump supporters after the White House called for ESPN to fire her for calling the president a “white supremacist.”

“Embarrassed? But you wrote it so PROUDLY. Even tacked on a “yes I said it.” I think we know which statement is the real you,” another Twitter user wrote. “Get in the sea.”

“Plenty of racists emerge from caves whenever ppl of color stand up for things they believe,” Mark Pitcavage of the Anti-Defamation League wrote.

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