Former Cleveland Browns general manager John Dorsey entered the revived squabble over Myles Garrett’s accusation that Mason Rudolph helped instigate the infamous helmet brawl by using the N-word.
In text messages to the Akron Beacon Journal’s Nate Ulrich, Dorsey reportedly backed up Garrett’s assertion that he told the executive, coaches and Browns defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi that Rudolph used the slur immediately after the brawl, writing “it’s the truth.”
Ogunjobi also said in December that Garrett told him Rudolph used a slur immediately after the brawl.
Rudolph and the Steelers have vocally denounced Garrett’s accusation as a lie meant to smear the quarterback and receive leniency for the ugly brawl, with the quarterback’s lawyer even threatening legal action against Garrett for defamation of character when Garrett doubled down on the accusation.
No direct witnesses or audio have emerged to back up Garrett’s version of events, though none of his teammates were in the immediate vicinity as he and Rudolph began tussling.
Steelers have questioned timing of Garrett’s accusation
The timing of Garrett’s accusation has been a point of contention for those on Rudolph’s side, questioning why Garrett would hold back such a justification for days and even apologize to Rudolph if Rudolph actually used the slur.
Steelers captain Cam Heyward was among those, questioning why Garrett didn’t bring up the slur immediately after the game last November. From the Associated Press:
“I thought it would have been brought up right after (the game), there would have been multiple guys speaking up about it,” Heyward said. “You know, I don't condone racial slurs ever and Mason, dealing with that, he's going to be labeled for it. That's just not right. I don't appreciate that.”
Reports of Garrett’s accusation didn’t emerge until Nov. 21 when the appeal of his indefinite suspension was denied, a full week after the brawl. Garrett has said he was assured the accusation would not be made public when it was brought up at the hearing, and also told ESPN he didn’t want to use it as a justification for his action.
Garrett’s indefinite suspension was lifted last week. The six games Garrett missed to end last season is the longest punishment for a single on-field act in NFL history.
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