The debate continues to rage on over the allegation by Myles Garrett that Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph called him a racial slur, inciting the chaos and helmet-swinging attack by the Cleveland Browns defensive end.
Garrett recently did an interview with ESPN’s Outside the Lines, where he claimed that Rudolph called him a “stupid N-word,” sparking the now infamous Week 11 brawl.
“I know something was said,” Garrett said in the OTL interview. “Now whether the NFL wants to acknowledge it, that’s up to them. But I don’t want to make it a racial thing, honestly. It’s over with for me. And I’m pretty sure it’s over with for Mason. So we just wanna move past and keep on playing football.”
Garrett was the No. 1 pick in the 2017 draft and missed the Browns final six games of the season and his actions cost him more than $1 million in missed paychecks and fines. He was recently reinstated following a suspension the NFL deemed indefinite.
Garrett was on pace for a Pro Bowl season before his suspension, amassing 10 sacks. He was also set to obliterate the Browns franchise record for a single season set by Reggie Camp (14).
Jason Whitlock: Myles Garrett ‘Sounded Like a Child’
The latest sports pundit to weigh in was Jason Whitlock, who let his opinion on the situation be known on FS1’s “Speak for Yourself” on Monday. Whitlock believes Garrett is being disingenuous by stating that he did not want the incident to be about race, despite doubling-down on the claim in the interview.
“I hope we can all agree, there is one certifiable lie that has been told, I think, is when this dude says ‘I don’t want to make it about race.’ That’s a lie,” Whitlock said. “This whole thing is very childish.”
Whitlock then sets up a situation where he was a kid and came up with a lie to justify his actions, making it clear he doesn’t believe Garrett’s claim.
“He looked and sounded like a child. There was no conviction behind what he said,” Whitlock said. “This dude is a goofball who did something stupid, whose gotten in trouble in the NFL for playing rough with QBs earlier in the year and he came up with some bogus excuse trying to defame this man. Even if true, which I don’t believe, move on.”
Steelers Coach Mike Tomlin Comes to Mason Rudolph’s Defense
Since Garrett’s latest interview came out, Rudolph has called the allegation “1000% False” and a “Bold-Faced Lie.” Rudolph’s agent/lawyers at Younger & Associates have also threatened legal action against Garrett.
On Monday it was Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin coming to his quarterback’s defense on ESPN’s “First Take.”
“To be quite honest with you, we were hacked off with what we saw this weekend, not specifically from Myles Garrett,” Tomlin told Stephen A. Smith. “He’s been in the lane that he’s in, but what was displayed by ESPN and that panel, the way that the situation was presented I don’t think was fair to Mason Rudolph, and that’s why I’m here today.”
The NFL has said multiple times that there is no evidence to support Garrett’s claim, saying, “no player on either team came forward to say they heard (Rudolph) say it on the field.”
“These accusations are serious, not only in terms of Mason Rudolph’s character, but in terms of his professional pursuits,” Tomlin said. “Nobody on that field as a member of the Cleveland Browns or Pittsburgh Steelers corroborated what was said by Myles Garrett.”
Rudolph retweeted the clip of Tomlin on First Take, calling his coach a “Leader of Men.”