After Myles Garrett made his appeal in New York on Wednesday, the NFL world was waiting on pins and needles Thursday to see what the ruling might be. Just prior to Garrett’s appeal being announced as upheld, a new layer has entered the conversation: race.
As first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Garrett said that Rudolph called him a racial slur prior to the brawl that ensued. Within minutes of Schefter’s report, Rudolph’s attorney released a statement denying the accusation.
In an appeal with the NFL, Browns’ DE Myles Garrett alleged that Mason Rudolph called him a racial slur prior to last week's brawl on Thursday Night Football, sources told ESPN's Josina Anderson and me, an accusation the Steelers’ QB strongly denies.https://t.co/NUQfAJdo6B— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 21, 2019
According to Schefter, Garrett first revealed the allegation during his initial comments at the appeal hearing, and “it created an argumentative exchange between both sides about whether the allegation was permissible to use in his appeal.”
Now, the big question on everyone’s mind is this: who was mic’ed up for Thursday Night Football? Audio from mic’ed up players has not been released in post-game video segments like it usually would be for a prime time game. One would think that neither Garrett nor Rudolph themselves were mic’ed up, otherwise they wouldn’t have taken the strong opposing stances (Garrett accusing, Rudolph denying). But with how the NFL is these days...did someone have a mic that picked something up? Former Browns LT Joe Thomas did weigh in with this:
The NFL usually has microphones on the center, sometimes the guards, and always the QBs...this should be easy for the NFL to go back and listen to the tapes to see what Mason said. As the great Eric Steinbach used to say...”roll the tape” #MylesGarrett #masonrudolph #CLEvsPIT https://t.co/BbywxW0ip6— Joe Thomas (@joethomas73) November 21, 2019
UPDATE: In the afternoon, the NFL announced that Garrett’s suspension stands as originally ruled (indefinite). Maurkice Pouncey of the Steelers had his suspension reduced from three games to two games.
Appeals officers Derrick Brooks and James Thrash, jointly appointed by the NFL and the NFLPA, have reached their decisions on the discipline appeals for Myles Garrett and Maurkice Pouncey. pic.twitter.com/xfLpiHpVBc— Michael Signora (@NFLfootballinfo) November 21, 2019
UPDATE 2: Garrett released the following statement Thursday night, saying, “I know what I heard.”