Myles Garrett again claims Steelers QB Mason Rudolph used racial slur

Browns DE tells ESPN's Outside the Lines he believes there was audio

Daryl Ruiter
February 14, 2020 - 6:55 am

CLEVELAND, Ohio (92.3 The Fan) – Myles Garrett stands by the assertion that he made during his appeal last November that Mason Rudolph used a racial slur before he hit the Steelers’ quarterback in the head with his own helmet in the closing seconds of a Nov. 14 win at FirstEnergy Stadium.

In an interview with ESPN’s Mina Kimes on ‘Outside the Lines,’ Garrett stood by his claim and also believes there is or was evidence of it.

“I know something was said,” Garrett told Kimes during the interview. “Now whether the NFL wants to acknowledge it, that's up to them. But I don't want to make it a racial thing, honestly. It's over with for me. And I'm pretty sure it's over with for Mason. So we just wanna move past and keep on playing football.”

Garrett was reinstated by the NFL on Wednesday from what amounted to a six-game suspension. 

The Steelers deferred to their statement back in November, in which Rudolph denies using a racial slur.

“I know what happened, I know what I heard,” Garrett told Kimes.

With the number of cameras and microphones used during primetime network TV broadcasts, Garrett has a valid point that it seams almost impossible nobody heard anything – on the field or in the broadcast truck.

The 21-7 victory over Pittsburgh was broadcast by FOX.

The NFL said in November that they found no evidence Rudolph said anything improper, yet Rudolph was fined the most of the 33 players that were fined – $50,000. Garrett, who was reinstated earlier this week after being suspended indefinitely without pay, was fined $45,623.

The six-game ban for the remainder of the 2019 season cost Garrett an additional $1.14 million in salary.

With eight seconds remaining, Garrett tried to sack Rudolph. Rudolph objected to what he felt was a late hit by attempting to remove Garrett’s helmet as the two grappled on the ground. Garrett then pulled Rudolph up by his facemask, tearing off the Steelers’ quarterback’s helmet. The two were separated momentary when Rudolph charged at Garrett, who responded by swinging the helmet, striking Rudolph on the top of his head.

“He called me the N-word,” Garrett told Kimes. “He called me a ‘stupid N-word.’”

Garrett originally made that claim during his appeal, which was supposed to be confidential yet was leaked nationally prompting Garrett to publicly acknowlege the accusation on social media. 

“I don't say the N-word, whether it's with ‘a’ [or> ‘er.’ To me, personally, [it> just shouldn't be said, whether it's by family, friends, anyone,’ Garrett told Kimes. “I don't want to use it because I don't want [people to> find that appropriate around me for anyone to use.

“When he said it, it kind of sparked something, but I still tried to let it go and still walk away. But once he came back, it kind of reignited the situation.”

Garrett reiterated the accusation did not absolve him of wrongdoing.

“I didn’t want to use it as justification for my actions because there’s nothing to justify,” Garrett told Kimes. “There’s nothing I can say or do to justify what I did on that day.”

Steelers guard Maurkice Pouncey was suspended for three games before it was reduced to two following an appeal for punching and kicking Garrett, and Browns defensive lineman Larry Ogunjobi was suspended one game. Ogunjobi's appeal was also denied. 

The Browns and Steelers franchises were hit with a $250,000 fine by Goodell. In all, over $732,000 in fines were handed down in the wake of the incident.