Myles Garrett isn’t backing down on his claim Mason Rudolph used a racial slur before a brawl that including him hitting the Steelers quarterback over the head with his own helmet in November.
“He called me the N-word,” Garrett told ‘Outside The Lines’ during an interview that aired Thursday night on ESPN. “He called me a ‘stupid N-word.’”
The Browns defensive end was reinstated by the NFL on Wednesday after being handed an indefinite suspension for ripping Rudolph’s helmet off and striking him with it. It led to Garrett missing six games, losing more than $1 million in salary and getting a $45,623 fine.
Garrett first made the claim Rudolph used a racial slur during the appeal hearing for his suspension in late November, but said he never meant for it to become public. Then Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens said at the time he believed Garrett’s account of the brawl. Rudolph has denied using any kind of slur, calling it “totally untrue” and the NFL said it found no evidence the quarterback used a slur.
Garrett sees things differently.
During the ESPN interview he blamed Rudolph for starting the fight, claiming he “sparked something” that Garrett “tried to let go” and “walk away from.” Things continued to escalate.
“But once he came back, it kind of reignited the situation,” Garrett said. “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 re-engage 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, 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 incident saw 33 players disciplined by the NFL and fines combining for $732,422, including $250,00 to each franchise.