Sports Outside the Beltway

Pittsburgh Steelers Coach Sorry for Raunchy E-Mail

I don’t think this can be considered a wise career move.

PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh Steelers offensive line coach Larry Zierlein apologized Thursday for accidentally e-mailing an explicit sex video to numerous NFL employees, including league commissioner Roger Goodell.

Zierlein said the incident has been difficult for him and his family and that he intends to use his team-issued computer only for football business from now on. He sent a note of apology to all NFL employees and those with the Steelers who received his raunchy e-mail.

“It’s hard because I made an inexcusable mistake,” Zierlein said, discussing the matter for the first time. “It was hard first for the organization. They had to explain and go through … and my family, for what they’re going to have to hear. So it was tough, but when you’ve been at this stuff for as long as a lot of us have, tough things happen and you’ve got to move on and that’s what we’re doing.”

The incident is the first blemish on new Steelers coach Mike Tomlin and his staff, and it clearly bothered team chairman Dan Rooney — a Hall of Fame executive and one of the league’s most respected owners. It is uncertain if the Steelers, or the NFL, will discipline Zierlein, though Rooney has talked to him.

The NFL has been cracking down of late on people who break the law. Zierlein’s email comes under the category of stupidity, and was probably never meant to be malicious. It probably wasn’t criminal either, and if it isn’t I’d think the Steelers should be the one to decide what the correct punishment for Zierlein should be.

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