Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph is pushing back against Myles Garrett. Rudolph responded Saturday to accusations that he directed a racial slur at Garrett that kicked off a brawl between the Steelers and Cleveland Browns in November. Rudolph called it a “bold-faced lie,” among other things.
Rudolph also said he “would not utter a racial slur.”
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin also weighed in on the issue Saturday. Tomlin, 47, said he spoke to a number of players on both teams following the brawl. In all of those conversations, Tomlin says no one — including members of the Browns — mentioned Rudolph used a racial slur.
The NFL also released a statement Saturday, saying it couldn’t find evidence Rudolph used a racial slur.
The brawl occurred in the closing seconds of the Browns’ 21-7 win in Week 11. Garrett tackled Rudolph with eight seconds to play. The 24-year-old Garrett ripped off Rudolph’s helmet and swung it at Rudolph, hitting him in the head. After the NFL reviewed the footage, 33 players were fined.
Of those 33 players, Garrett received the harshest punishment. He was suspended indefinitely, and missed the rest of the season. Garrett was reinstated from his suspension Wednesday.
Following his reinstatement, Garrett spoke to ESPN, telling the network Rudolph called Garrett “the N-word.” Garrett made similar comments shortly after the brawl. Rudolph, 24, has denied using that language.
It’s unclear whether Garrett’s allegations will result in any further action from either player. Rudolph’s agent, however, noted that Garrett’s comments left him “exposed to legal liability,” suggesting Rudolph could take legal action to try and clear his name.
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