Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett took to a national stage to explain the events that led to the six-game suspension that ended his 2019 season.
In an interview with ESPN’s Mina Kimes for Outside the Lines, Garrett reiterated that Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph called him “a stupid N-word,” at the end of the November 14 game between the two teams:
In his first in-depth interview since his suspension, Myles Garrett opens up on what happened during that Week 11 incident. pic.twitter.com/PfiBaINSPT— Outside The Lines (@OTLonESPN) February 14, 2020
During the interview, Garrett once again pointed the finger of blame at Rudolph for his role in the incident that started with Garrett sacking Rudolph at the end of the Cleveland’s win against the Steelers, and escalated into Garrett hitting Rudolph over the head with his own helmet, according to ESPN.com:
”I don’t say the N-word, whether it’s with ‘a’ [or] ‘er.’ To me, personally, [it] just shouldn’t be said, whether it’s by family, friends, anyone. I don’t want to use it because I don’t want [people to] find that appropriate around me for anyone to use.
”When he said it, it kind of sparked something, but I still tried to let it go and still walk away. But once he came back, it kind of reignited the situation. 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 reengage 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, who was reinstated earlier this week by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, also questioned why there is no audio available from the end of the game that would reveal what was said, according to cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot:
“Most quarterbacks wear mics in their helmets. 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.’’
The Steelers declined to comment on Garrett’s latest interview, and Tim Younger, Rudolph’s agent and attorney, was unavailable for comment, according to ESPN. NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy repeated that the league found no evidence to support Garrett’s claim, according to Cabot.
In the interview, Garrett said that the events of November 14 are over for him and he is ready to “move past (it) and keep on playing football.”
Given the nature of his claims, however, it seems highly unlikely that we have heard the last of this.
The full interview will air Saturday at 9 a.m. on ESPN.