Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett reiterated this week that Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph directed a racial slur at him prior to the melee at the end of the game between the teams in November.
“He called me the N-word,” Garrett told ESPN reporter Mina Kimes in an interview on Outside the Lines that aired Thursday. “He called me a ‘stupid N-word.’”
Garrett received an indefinite suspension from the NFL for his actions during the waning moments of the Browns’ 21-7 win over the Steelers on Nov. 14. Garrett ripped off Rudolph’s helmet and used it to strike the quarterback on the top of his unprotected head during an ugly brawl on national television.
The indefinite suspension ultimately cost Garrett the final six games of the 2019 regular season. He was reinstated by the league on Wednesday.
Multiple outlets reported in November that during Garrett’s appeal hearing, he claimed that Rudolph used a racial slur, which sparked the on-field brawl. In Thursday’s ESPN piece, Garrett said he never intended for the initial accusation to become public, adding that he didn’t want it to look like he was justifying his actions. But he said, ‘I know what I heard.”
Rudolph has denied Garrett’s allegation from the outset.
“I couldn’t believe it,” Rudolph said in November. “I couldn’t believe he would go that route after the fact.”