Pittsburgh Steelers offensive coordinator Todd Haley answered questions Thursday during his talk with the media concerning a Wednesday report published by Deadspin.com about an alleged run-in he had at a bar in the Crowne Plaza hotel late Saturday night.
According to the report, Haley had a confrontation with a group of fans at a bar after being heckled. In a letter to Deadspin, one of those persons in the group claimed Haley at one point asked, "Why do you have to be so gay?"
Haley said Thursday that he was surprised to find out earlier in the morning that such a big deal was being made about the encounter and went as far to call it a non-issue.
"My wife, my family and I are staying in a hotel until we close on our new house," started Haley. "We went down to have a couple appetizers, and like I always do, I got asked for autographs, and the guy said, ‘I’m a huge Steelers fan.’ So, I signed it ‘Go Steelers.’ And then he said, ‘No, not really. I’m a Chiefs fan.’ So, I wrote what I did in jest. It was funny. It was no disrespect to the Chiefs."
As far as the accusation that he used the word "gay", Haley denied he said that went asked Thursday.
"There was no incident. I had no conversation other than talking about or writing what I wrote," he said.
In the letter to Deadspin, the person who wrote it admitted that one of the members of the group was "completely hammered" and that he started yelling things at Haley once he recognized him, such as, "Roethlisberger isn't going to like this" and "Hey, Haley, what plays are you calling tomorrow?"
Unless there is video of Haley doing or saying something that he shouldn't have, this is indeed a non-issue, but one that will likely be discussed for a few more days. It sounds like Haley was just trying to enjoy a beer in a bar with his wife and I am sure that he is not the only coach that has done that the night before a game.
As far as Haley writing what he did about the Kansas City Chiefs on the autographed bar napkin, he addressed that as well on Thursday.
"I wrote something about my former team that I probably shouldn’t [have]. There was no incident," he said.