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Paul Smith, Fire chief attacks Steelers coach Mike Tomlin over anthem protest

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PITTSBURGH — This is probably going to be a long drawn battle. The anthem protests are not going to stop and there is not going to an end regarding the attacks directed against the people supporting and opposing the stance.

The controversy has skyrocketed following Pittsburgh Steelers game this past Sunday and the team’s decision to stay in the tunnel at Chicago’s Soldier Field during the national anthem.

The anthem protests seem to be dividing the already divided and polarized society in the US. Ben Roethlisberger in a statement said he regretted Pittsburgh Steelers boycotting the national anthem.

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In a statement he said “I was unable to sleep last night and want to share my thoughts and feelings on our team’s decision to remain in the tunnel for the National Anthem yesterday…The idea was to be unified as a team when so much attention is paid to things dividing our country, but I wish we approached it differently. We did not want to appear divided on the sideline with some standing and some kneeling or sitting…As a team, it was not a protest of the flag or the Anthem. I personally don’t believe the Anthem is ever the time to make any type of protest. For me, and many others on my team and around the league, it is a tribute to those who commit to serve and protect our country, current and past, especially the ones that made the ultimate sacrifice.”




The increasing racial division in the US has seen many people protest in multiple ways. Since 2016, professional athletes in the United States have protested racial inequality and police brutality during the playing of the United States’ national anthem. The protests began in the National Football League (NFL) after San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick sat during the anthem, as opposed to the tradition—described in the United States Flag Code of standing.

In the meantime Paul Smith, the chief of Cecil Volunteer Fire Station #2, posted a comment on Facebook and attacked Steelers’ head coach Mike Tomlin.

“I am embarrassed at this. 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.”

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