Pittsburgh Steelers tight end coach James Daniel is being investigated by both his team and the NFL after allegedly assaulting a fan, ESPN is reporting.
Just before halftime during the Steelers’ Thursday night loss (28-21) to the New England Patriots, Daniel was headed toward the locker room with the rest of his team when he allegedly verbally assaulted a Patriots fan and kicked him or her in the back of the leg. Several witnesses claim to have seen Daniel assault the fan.
— Accordion Man (@Accordion617) September 11, 2015
When Daniel returned from the locker room, a police officer as well as personnel from NFL’s internal security force were there waiting for him. When the officer attempted to talk to Daniel about “controlling his behavior,” according to Bleacher Report, Daniel allegedly shouted at the cop. NFL security did not see Daniel confronting the cop, nor did the incident appear to have been captured on camera.
#Steelers TE coach James Daniel should be fired. No matter the extent, kicking a fan, yelling at a police officer equals goodbye to me.
— Shane P. Hallam (@ShanePHallam) September 11, 2015
Both the NFL and the Pittsburgh Steelers are investigating the incident; ESPN’s report indicates that James Daniel has been interviewed by both the NFL and the Steelers about the incident, and that the investigation is “ongoing.”
James Daniel’s alleged assault of a fan was not the only off-the-field headline generated by Thursday night’s game. Steelers coaches reported interference with their radio headsets, according to Sport ACT, causing them to hear the Patriots’ communications and preventing the Steelers from communicating with each other. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin suggested such shenanigans are common at the Patriots’ Gillette Stadium, adding yet another complaint to the long list of suspected — and sometimes confirmed — acts of chicanery by the Patriots to gain a competitive advantage.
As for James Daniel, Sport ACT notes that he’s been in the NFL for twenty years, without major incident. He’s been a coach with the Steelers for 12 seasons, having completed previous gigs in the NFL coaching for the Falcons and Giants, as well as coaching Auburn at the college level, and high school in Alabama. Daniel served three seasons as a player, as an offensive guard at Alabama State University in the 1970s.
As of this writing, James Daniel has not commented publicly about the alleged assault.
[Image courtesy of: Getty Images/Handout]