Cleveland Browns’ defensive end Myles Garrett, who was reinstated by the league earlier this week after being suspended indefinitely for ripping Pittsburgh Steelers’ quarterback Mason Rudolph’s helmet off and hitting him in the head with it during a brawl that ensued in the closing moments of the Browns’ 21-7 win back in November, is again alleging that Rudolph called him a racial slur during the altercation.
“He called me the N-word,” Garrett said, during an interview with Outside The Lines’ Mina Kimes on Thursday night on SportsCenter. “He called me a ‘stupid N-word.'”
Garrett alleged that Rudolph made the comments during his appeal hearings regarding the suspensions, allegations that Rudolph has denied throughout.
Furthermore, an NFL spokesman said that the league “found no such evidence” that Rudolph used the slur and upheld Garrett’s suspension. Rudolph has called the allegation “totally untrue.”
“I couldn’t believe it,” Rudolph said back in late November. “I couldn’t believe he would go that route after the fact.”
Garrett states that Rudolph’s use of the racial slur is what ignited the brawl, and escalated things to the shocking level that they rose to.
“When he said it, it kind of sparked something, but I still tried to let it go and still walk away,” Garrett said. “But once he came back, it kind of reignited the situation. And not only have you escalated things past what they needed to be with such little time in the game left, now you’re trying to reengage and start a fight again. It’s definitely not entirely his fault; it’s definitely both parties doing something that we shouldn’t have been doing.
“I don’t say the N-word, whether it’s with ‘a’ [or] ‘er.’ To me personally, [it] just shouldn’t be said, and whether it’s by family, friends, anyone. I don’t want to use it because I don’t want [people to] find that appropriate around me for anyone to use.”
The Steelers stood by Rudolph, issuing a statement on Thursday in response to Garrett’s allegations saying “Mason vehemently denies the report of being accused of using a racial slur during the incident.”