CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Pittsburgh Steelers QB Mason Rudolph, his head coach, his agent, and the NFL spoke up after Cleveland Browns star DE Myles Garrett doubled down on his allegations that Rudolph used the “N-word," which, he says, sparked the on-field brawl in November at FirstEnergy Stadium, ESPN reports.
“He called me the N-word,” Garrett told Outside The Lines’ Mina Kimes. “He called me a ‘stupid N-word.’ ”
Rudolph retweeted Garrett’s interview on Saturday morning, saying “1000% False. Bold-Faced Lie. I did not, have not, and would not utter a racial-slur. This is a disgusting and reckless attempt to assassinate my character.”
Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin also released a statement after the Garrett’s interview aired:
“I support Mason Rudolph not only because I know him, but also because I was on that field immediately following the altercation with Myles Garrett, and subsequently after the game. I interacted with a lot of people in the Cleveland Browns organization - players and coaches. If Mason said what Myles claimed, it would have come out during the many interactions I had with those in the Browns’ organization. In my conversations, I had a lot of expressions of sorrow for what transpired. I received no indication of anything racial or anything of that nature in those interactions.”
Rudolph’s agent also tweeted out his statement on the allegations resurfacing, saying Garrett is now exposed to legal liability.
“We waited to hear the entire interview. Garrett, after originally apologizing to Mason Rudolph, has made the ill advised choice of publishing the belated and false accusation that Mr. Rudolph uttered a racial slur on the night in question. Note that Mr. Garrett claims that Mr. Rudolph uttered the slur simultaneously with being taken down, and before Mr. Garrett committed a battery by striking Mr. Rudolph on the head with a 6 lb helmet. His claim is ludicrous. This obviously was not the first time Mr. Rudolph has been sacked by an African American player. Mr. Garrett maliciously uses this false allegation to coax sympathy, hoping to be excused for what clearly is inexcusable behavior. Despite other players and the referee being in the immediate vicinity, there are zero corroborating witnesses -- as confirmed by the NFL. Although Mr. Rudolph had hoped to move forward, it is Mr. Garrett who has decided to utter this defamatory statement - in California. He is now exposed to legal liability.”
The NFL also released a statement similar to the one released immediately following their investigation:
"As we said at the time the allegation was made, we looked into the matter and found no such evidence.
There was no sound recorded form the field during that game. As with every game, there were microphones on the center or interior linemen that help amplify the ambient sound as the quarterbacks were calling signals at the line of scrimmage. But they do not record sound. Microphones are opened from the break of the huddle (or when the center places his hand on the ball in a no-huddle offense) through the snap of the ball. They are turned off at that point.
We checked with the officiating crew, including the ref who was on top of the play and the ensuing aftermath. No player on either team came forward to say they heard (Rudolph) say it on the field. There was also no indication of any players saying they heard him say it in their postgame comments."
The NFL suspended Garrett for the final six games of the 2019 season for ripping Rudolph’s helmet off and striking him in the head with it during the Browns’ 21-7 win on Nov. 14.
The incident also cost Garrett about $1.2 million in pay and nearly $50,000 in fines.
Rudolph was also fined $50,000 for his role in the Thursday Night Football brawl.
Garrett was reinstated by the NFL this week.