The Pittsburgh Steelers ownership group has responded to allegations that tight ends coach James Daniel assaulted a Patriots fan during the team’s 28-21 opening-night loss in New England.
The following statement was released by the team Sunday morning and attributed to team president Art Rooney II.
“We have conducted an internal inquiry into the alleged incident involving Assistant Coach James Daniel at the Patriots stadium Thursday night. After interviews with Coach Daniel as well as other personnel who witnessed the alleged encounter, we find no corroboration that Coach Daniel was involved in any physical altercation with a fan.
“Coach Daniel has worked as an assistant coach for the Steelers for the past 12 seasons. We have a high level of confidence in his character and are confident that any further investigation of this incident will reveal he was not part of any assault or misconduct involving a Patriots fan.”
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported on Friday that NFL security was investigating a complaint that Daniel “assaulted and verbally accosted” a Patriots fan on the way to the locker room before halftime.
Daniel is 62 and has been a member of the Steelers staff since 2004. Before his time with the Steelers, Daniel coached tight ends and offensive line for the Atlanta Falcons from 1997 t0 2003 and tight ends for the New York Giants from 1993 to 1996.
Daniel has not personally commented on the investigation, nor has Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin. Tomlin’s next regularly-scheduled press conference will be on Tuesday.
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