Over the past week, the three players suspended for their involvement in last Thursday’s Steelers vs. Browns brawl made their appeals.
The player suspended indefinitely, Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett, claimed in his appeal that Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph used a racial slur towards him during the fight.
However, Rudolph and his lawyer responded, claiming that never happened.
Myles Garrett alleges Rudolph used a racial slur
According to ESPN’s report, during Garrett’s appeal this past Wednesday, he claimed that Steelers QB Mason Rudolph directed a racial slur at him. However, the NFL “found no such evidence” that Rudolph did so, according to league spokesman Brian McCarthy.
Garrett’s allegation came as he was appealing his indefinite suspension for ripping Rudolph’s helmet off towards the end of last Thursday’s NFL game, and then swinging it at Rudolph’s head.
After that information got out to the public, Garrett said he was disappointed it leaked, and also stood by his claim.
“I know what I heard,” Garrett said in a statement released on Thursday. “Whether my opponent’s comment was born out of frustration or ignorance, I cannot say. But his actions do not excuse my lack of restraint at the moment, and I truly regret the impact this has had on the league, the Browns and our devoted fans.”
For those fans who thought Garrett’s allegation was just brought into the appeal, FOX NFL Sunday’s Jay Glazer says that it wasn’t. Glazer indicated in a recent video clip that Garrett was scheduled to interview with him ahead of that appeal, but the Browns strongly urged him not to.
The NFL upheld the suspension for Browns' Myles Garrett today.@JayGlazer elaborates and shares insight on the reports that Mason Rudolph used a racial slur in the exchange with Garrett last Thursday: pic.twitter.com/DXM3MPsvDC
— FOX Sports: NFL (@NFLonFOX) November 21, 2019
Rudolph responds to allegations
Mason Rudolph spoke about the Steelers-Browns incident right after it occurred during a post-game media session calling it “cowardly” and “pretty bush league.”
During his discussion of the event he also mentioned there were some “words,” and Garrett “kept keeping on.” Rudolph didn’t bring up any specifics in terms of what was said on the field, though.
When asked by reporters about Garrett’s allegation of a racial slur, Rudolph said he didn’t say anything to provoke the defensive end or escalate things with him during the on-field fight.
Rudolph’s attorney Timothy M. Younger also released a statement after the reported allegations. In that statement, they claim Myles Garrett’s accusation of Rudolph using a racial slur towards him is a “lie” and “a desperate attempt to mitigate his suspension.”
Mason Rudolph’s attorney, Timothy M. Younger, now has responded to Myles Garrett’s accusations: pic.twitter.com/aQj5FxW2cq
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 21, 2019
Garrett’s teammate Odell Beckham Jr. said he believed Garrett.
“I just don’t see Myles as someone who would lie or do anything like that,” Beckham told reporters. “At this point, it is what it is. We’re all just kind of waiting and just hoping that justice is served.”
Garrett’s suspension upheld, Pouncey’s reduced
Myles Garrett’s appeal failed to reduce or remove his indefinite suspension. It was determined that it would remain intact with the league, per NBC Sports Pro Football Talk. That means he’ll at the very least remain suspended for the remainder of this NFL season.
A six-game suspension is the longest in league history for an on-field incident. To get reinstated, Garrett will need to meet with the commissioner’s office.
Additionally, the arbitrator also upheld Larry Ogunjobi’s one-game suspension for shoving Mason Rudolph.
Meanwhile, the league reduced Steelers’ Maurkice Pouncey’s three-game suspension for punching and kicking Garrett to two games.
Both Ogunjobi and Pouncey will return to the field for games before the season ends, while Garrett will probably be hoping the commissioner’s office allows him back early next season.