Pittsburgh Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey returned to the team this week following his two-game suspension for his role in the brawl with the Cleveland Browns and didn’t mince words when asked about the incident.
“At the end of the day, the fight didn’t look good, but the fight was worth it,” Pouncey told reporters in Pittsburgh. “No regrets. I’ve moved on now, man. Everyone had to pay their fines. Everyone had to do their due diligence. The money was worth it, trust me.”
After Browns defensive end Myles Garrett bashed Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph with a helmet, Pouncey jumped in, punching and kicking Garrett. Pouncey was the only combatant in the fight that had his suspension reduced. He was also fined $35,096.
“As soon as the brawl stopped, I stopped,” Pouncey said. “They didn’t have to stop me. I wasn’t chasing down the players. It was just one guy.”
Pouncey: Myles Garrett Allegation of Racial Slur ‘Not True at All’
What added another wrinkle to the situation was an allegation by Garrett during the appeals process that Rudolph said a racial slur that sparked the act of violence.
Rudolph has denied the claim vehemently and his center had his back as well.
“Come on man, that’s not true at all,” Pouncey said. “Honestly, you guys know Mason. You guys have been around him a long time. It’s not his first time. Trust me, if he was racist, it would’ve got exposed.”
Rudolph has had to deal with the allegation despite the NFL saying there was no evidence of the slur. However, Garrett said it was never his intention to make it public.
“I was assured that the hearing was space that afforded the opportunity to speak openly and honestly about the incident that led to my suspension. This was not meant for public dissemination, nor was it a convenient attempt to justify my actions or restore my image in the eyes of those I disappointed.
“I know what I heard. Whether my opponent’s comment was born out of frustration or ignorance, I cannot say. But his actions do not excuse my lack of restraint in the moment, and I truly regret the impact this has had on the league, the Browns and our devoted fans.”
Larry Ogunjobi Brings New Facts to Table in Myles Garrett Incident
Many questioned why Garrett would have waited so long to bring the racial slur allegation to the table. When the news broke, Browns brass and players said that was the first time they were hearing of it
However, Garrett’s defensive line partner Larry Ogunjobi admitted that Garrett told him about the slur right after the game. Ogunjobi told The Athletic’s Jason Lloyd that he was waiting for the appeal to share the news.
“You’ve got to remember, nobody has ever gone through this process before,” Ogunjobi said. “It’s our third year; we’ve never had something like that happen.”
“I feel like he’s upset people were calling him a liar,” Ogunjobi added. “That’s not something to joke about. He’s not that type of person.”
With the NFL saying there’s no audio available from the incident, we may never know the truth of the incident between the AFC North rivals.