Myles Garrett Accuses Mason Rudolph of Using Racial Slur Prior to Helmet Attack

Myles Garrett
The Associated Press

During an appeal of his suspension, Browns player Myles Garrett accused Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph of using a racial slur, before Garrett tore off Rudolph’s helmet and attacked him with it on Thursday Night Football.

Garrett was suspended indefinitely after using a helmet to strike Rudolph on his exposed head during a brief brawl near the end of the November 14 NFL game between the Cleveland Browns and the Pittsburgh Steelers.

But during his appeal of the suspension, Garrett, who is black, said that he was provoked by Rudolph, who is white, because Rudolph yelled out a racial epithet.

Rudolph immediately denied the accusation.

“Mason vehemently denies the report of being accused of using a racial slur during the incident Thursday night in Cleveland,” said Steelers spokesman Burt Lauten. “He will not discuss this accusation any further, and his focus remains on preparation for Sunday’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals.”

Rudolph insists that he said nothing ahead of the melee to provoke the fight. And his attorney, Timothy M. Younger, released a statement calling Garrett’s claim an outright lie.

“According to ESPN, in his appeal, Myles Garrett falsely asserted that Mason Rudolph uttered a racial slur toward him, prior to swinging a helmet at Mason’s uncovered head, in a desperate attempt to mitigate his suspension. This is a lie,” Younger said. “This false allegation was never asserted by Garrett in the aftermath of the game, never suggested prior to the hearing, and conspicuously absent in the apology published by the Browns and adopted by Garrett.

“The malicious use of this wild and unfounded allegation is an assault on Mason’s integrity, which is far worse than the physical assault witnessed on Thursday. This is reckless and shameful. We will have no further comment,” Younger concluded.

The accusations of racism comes nearly a week after the incident occurred. No such accusation was made in the immediate aftermath of the fight on the 14th.

Two others also received punishment for the short fight. Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey is now serving a three-game suspension for punching and kicking Garrett. And Browns defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi was hit with a one-game suspension for shoving Rudolph.

Ogunjobi has already lost his appeal of the suspension, and Pouncey’s appeal is still pending.

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