Rudolph: Garrett's slur claim '1000% false'

Mason Rudolph Myles Garrett Steelers

And the defensive end stuck to that claim and expanded on his version of the story in an interview with ESPN's Mina Kimes.

Garrett eventually appealed the suspension, and during his meeting with the league, he accused Rudolph of hurling a racial slur at him prior to the brawl (which came as a surprise to other Browns who said their teammate failed to mention that aspect of the altercation). Garrett appealed his indefinite suspension and was denied with the National Football League saying they found no evidence the slur happened.

The statement strongly hints at legal action against Garrett for continuing to claim that Rudolph called him "the N-word", something Garrett has claimed both in the aftermath of the November brawl and during the interview with Kimes.

"I don't say the N-word, whether it's with "a" [or] 'er.' To me personally, just shouldn't be said, and whether it's by family, friends, anyone".

"I know what I heard", Garrett said in a statement issued after the hearing, via ESPN.

Tomlin's statement is in response to an interview Garrett did with ESPN following his reinstatement after a six-game suspension.

Rudolph also said he "would not utter a racial slur". "I interacted with a lot of people in the Cleveland Browns organization - players and coaches", Tomlin said in the statement. He definitely is exposed to legal liability for what he said about Rudolph, unless Garrett can prove that what he said is true.

Rudolph initially engaged with Garrett on the ground, and then charged at him after Garrett forcibly removed Rudolph's helmet. Appeals officer James Thrash also questioned Garrett about how he might act differently in the future and Garrett explained that he would not let events escalate the way they did in future games. Whether my opponent's comment was born out of frustration or ignorance, I can not say. "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".

Rudolph strongly denied the allegation in November and called it "totally untrue". Even if Garrett subjectively believes he heard it, at some point he needs to consider the broader evidence and ask himself whether he simply believes he heard something that wasn't said.

"Most quarterbacks wear mics in their helmets", he said.

"I couldn't believe he would go that route after the fact", he said at the time.

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