Prior to his hearing for his suspension for involvement in the on-field brawl that took place at the end of a Nov. 14 game between the Browns and Steelers in Cleveland, defensive end Myles Garrett failed to tell anyone of his accusations that quarterback Mason Rudolph helped touch off the event by using a racial slur.
Now, apparently, Garrett can't say it loud enough.
A day after being reinstated by the NFL following his indefinite suspension by the league -- which amounted to six games -- Garrett sat down with ESPN's Mina Kimes for an interview. And once again, the Browns defensive end said the Steelers quarterback used a racial slur during the brawl, which included Garrett bludgeoning Rudolph over the head with his own helmet after ripping it from his head.
"He called me the N-word," Garrett said. "He called me a 'stupid N-word.'"
The league investigated Garrett's claims, which he failed to make mention of until his appeals hearing, and found no evidence a slur had been used.
And Rudolph's teammates, many of whom were nearby during and throughout the incident, said they heard no such utterance, either.
Rudolph immediately denied Garrett's claims in the aftermath of the accusation becoming public.
"It's totally untrue," he said. "I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe he would go that route after the fact."
The Steelers backed their quarterback, as well.
"Mason vehemently denies the report of being accused of using a racial slur during the incident," the team said in a statement released at the time.
Rudolph has since refused to talk about the incident any further and GM Kevin Colbert said the Steelers put the brawl behind them "that Monday."
The Steelers and Browns split their two meetings in 2019. In addition to Garrett, Browns defensive end Larry Ogunjobie was suspended one game for running in and shoving Rudolph to the ground from behind, while Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey received a three-game suspension -- reduced to two upon appeal -- for punching and kicking Garrett.
All told, 53 players, including Rudolph, received fines for the incident. Rudolph's appeal of his $50,000 fine was denied earlier this week.
Nobody seemed to hear this slur except Garrett, who then sat on that information after the game and then throughout the weekend until his hearing took place the following Wednesday.
That's when it came out. At the time, Garrett said he wanted to keep it quiet.
Now, apparently, he can't say it enough. Kind of funny he waited until the day after he was reinstated to make the claims again. Why not do it during his suspension?
Likely, the answer to that is he knew the league might continue to keep him on the suspended list if he tried to use that rationale again.
The question is, will ESPN give Rudolph a forum to deny the issue? I highly doubt it.
And Rudolph wouldn't go on a show to deny it again, regardless.
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