The allegation that Mason Rudolph used a racial slur toward Myles Garrett did not surface until a week after the two players got into a physical confrontation that resulted in Garrett being suspended, but the Cleveland Browns star is standing by the claim now that he has been reinstated by the NFL.
In an interview with ESPN’s “Outside the Lines” that will air on Saturday, Garrett shared more details of the alleged racial slur Rudolph used. He says the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback called him a “stupid N-word.”
“He called me the N-word,” Garrett, via Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com. “He called me a ‘stupid N-word.’”
Garrett says Rudolph used the phrase as Garrett was dragging the quarterback to the ground. Garrett claims he was going to let it go until Rudolph escalated the situation further.
“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.”
Garrett did not say Rudolph used a racial slur until he appealed the suspension in front of the NFL, which was a week later. He told “Outside the Lines” that he didn’t bring it up sooner because he didn’t want it to seem like he was trying to justify his actions, which included dangerously bashing Rudolph in the head with a helmet. The NFL reportedly interviewed referees and used camera angles to investigate the claim and found no evidence that Rudolph used a racial slur. Garrett hinted that he believes the league may have covered it up.
“Most quarterbacks wear mics in their helmets,” he said. “He somehow lost his helmet and had to get another one without a mic. There were guys who were mic’d up near me — near us — during that time who didn’t hear anything, and from what I’ve heard, there [may] have been audio during that game that could’ve heard something or could not have heard something, but they don’t want to say.
“So something was said. I know something was said. Now whether the NFL wants to acknowledge it, that’s up to them.”
Whether Garrett is telling the truth or not, it’s a bad look that he waited so long to come out with the allegation. He basically is saying he was too noble to out Rudolph when the incident first happened, but now he has no problem speaking openly about it months later. Garrett was immediately painted as a villain for his actions, so it’s shocking he tried to keep the racial slur under wraps if he’s telling the truth about it.
There were indications that Garrett informed the Browns about the racial slur immediately, but the way he handled the situation is bizarre, at the very least. If he lost his cool because Rudolph called him a “stupid N-word,” he could have explained his actions from the start. He’s essentially saying he was too noble to do so, yet he has no problem discussing it in detail now.