After being ejected from the Cleveland Browns 21-7 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday for a helmet-to-helmet hit, safety Damarious Randall said he received multiple death threats via social media threatening his life.
While speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Randall disclosed that he had received the threats and lashed out against the double-standard athletes have to abide by when threatened by fans.
“How is it, from the standpoint, after the hit … I get so many death threats, so many people calling me names, people saying, ‘Oh, I hope you get hurt, I’m going to kill you, this and that,'” Randall told cleveland.com. “And it’s OK for fans to do it to us but then when we say something back, it’s a problem, we get in trouble. I just never understood that.”
Randall was ejected for his hit on Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson in the third quarter, which led the Pittsburgh pass-catcher bleeding from his ear. On a positive note, Johnson returned to practice in full this week, avoiding serious injury.
Late Game Fight Adds Extra Layer of Vitriol to Rivalry
Randall understood the postgame was more heated than a normal due to the helmet-swinging scuffle between Browns defensive end Myles Garrett and Steelers QB Mason Rudolph. However, Randall — like any level-headed human — didn’t see that as an excuse for threats of violence against his life.
“It shouldn’t matter,” Randall said. “At the end of the day, the NFL is a brotherhood; nobody goes out there to hurt anybody. We’re all in it, this is an entertainment-based business. At the end of the day, we are entertainers. The last thing I need to be doing is watching my back for fans and stuff talking crazy. I know most of them aren’t even about that life, because I done really been in that life. … I know most of them ain’t even close to that life.
“It’s just funny to me how they blurt out and just say crazy, off the wall stuff, but just like the situation with one of my former teammates (safety Jermaine Whitehead). He lost his job behind something like that, but it’s OK for them to openly say stuff like that. I find that so crazy to me.”
The incident Randall is referring to with Whitehead came after the Browns loss to the Broncos. Whitehead posted multiple comments on social media firing back at critics after a poor game. He was promptly let go by the Browns the day after the game.
Fight Between Myles Garrett, Mason Rudolph Shocked Damarious Randall
Having been ejected, Randall said he was in the shower at the time of the incident between Garrett and Rudolph. He tried frantically to gather information after emerging.
“When I saw the we had the game in wraps, I took a shower and I was probably in the shower for 10 or 15 minutes and next thing you know, I’m walking back in the locker room and I heard about the incident,” he said. “I still haven’t seen it at this point, I’m still trying to ask about what happened because the way people were explaining it somebody started shooting up in the freaking stadium, so I was like why are people acting like this?”
Randall said he would have never expected that kind of act from Garrett.
“That’s definitely not in his character from the time that I’ve known him,” Randall said. “He’s been nothing but a great, great teammate; a great, great guy. He plays with dinosaurs, he writes poems for a living, he’s definitely a nice guy. I don’t know what really triggered that, but this team is definitely in his corner, I’m definitely 100% in his corner and we’re going to stay behind him through the process.”
Garrett had his appeal heard by the NFL on Wednesday and is expected to receive the verdict this week. Randall and the Browns are a double-digit favorite against the Dolphins this week as they look to run their win streak to three.