Official denigrates Pittsburgh Steelers head coach amid ongoing NFL protests.
The chief of a volunteer fire department in the state of Pennsylvania has been forced to resign after posting a racial slur on social media aimed at a black NFL coach.
Paul Smith of the Cecil Township Volunteer Fire Station used Facebook to launch the racist attack Sunday against Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin.
"Tomlin just added himself to the list of no good niggers. Yes, I said it," Smith wrote, according to local media, before resigning two days later.
Tomlin is the team’s first black head coach and in 2009 became just the second black head coach to win the Super Bowl.
Tomlin prevented his team from taking the field Sunday for the playing of the national anthem, drawing a mixture of support and criticism from fans.
Offensive lineman Alejandro Villanueva, a decorated army veteran, stood outside the stadium tunnel as the only Steeler player to observe the anthem.
The racial attack comes amid collective protests around the league following comments by U.S. President Donald Trump against high-profile athletes including former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, whose silent protest last September against racism and police brutality triggered a national movement, and 2017 NBA champion Stephen Curry.
In a separate incident, Michigan State Police Director Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue apologized late Tuesday after sharing a post on social media that called protesting NFL players “a bunch of rich, entitled, arrogant, ungrateful, anti-American degenerates.” The players are "millionaire ingrates who hate America and disrespect our armed forces and veterans,” she said in the message that has drawn outrage and calls for her to step down from her post.
“It was a mistake to share this message on Facebook, and I sincerely apologize to anyone who was offended,” Etue said in a statement. “I will continue my focus on unity at the Michigan State Police and in communities across Michigan.”