Pittsburgh Steelers empty bench
The Pittsburgh Steelers bench area stays empty during the national anthem prior to the start of the game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on September 24, 2017 in Chicago, Illinois. A Pennsylvania volunteer fire chief recently went under fire for a racial slur he directed at Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin. Kena Krutsinger/Getty Images

A Pennsylvania fire chief apologized for using a racial slur against Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin after his team did not stand on the field for the national anthem during Sunday’s game against the Chicago Bears.

Cecil Township Volunteer Fire Department No. 2 chief Paul Smith used Facebook to express his dissatisfaction with the Steelers’ choice not to stand on the field during the “Star Spangled Banner” Sunday. Other NFL teams decided to kneel or sit during the national anthem — a feat met with both criticism and support from football fans and the general public. Smith’s comments were directed at Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin.

“Tomlin just added himself to the list of no good n-----s. Yes I said it,” he wrote on Facebook during Sunday's game.

Tomlin said his team stayed out of sight during the national anthem to protect any players who wanted to kneel or sit during the song. The only player seen on camera was Steelers’ left tackle Alejandro Villanueva. He stood alone at the tunnel that opens up to the football field in order to see the American flag. Villanueva is a West Point graduate who served three tours in Afghanistan. He apologized Monday for separating himself from his team, saying he “unfortunately threw them under the bus intentionally.”

Smith, who is out of the country on vacation, sent a text to a reporter about his actions.

“I am embarrassed at this. I want to apologize. I was frustrated and angry at the Steelers for the anthem,” he said. “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 bad judgment by me, for which I am very embarrassed, for them and my township.”

The Cecil Township Board of Supervisors released a statement denouncing Smith’s words.

“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 statement read.