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‘He called me the N-word’ – in ESPN interview, Garrett again says Rudolph used racial slur

Myles Garrett interview
Posted at 11:02 PM, Feb 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-13 23:12:30-05

In an interview with ESPN, his first since being reinstated by the NFL, Browns defensive end Myles Garrett again claimed that Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph used a racial slur toward him before a fracas broke out in the closing moments of the Thursday Night Football home game last November.

"He called me the N-word," Garrett told ESPN reporter Mina Kimes in an interview that aired Thursday night on SportsCenter. "He called me a 'stupid N-word.'"

Read ESPN's story on Garrett's interview here.

"When he said it, it kind of sparked something, but I still tried to let it go and still walk away," Garrett said. "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 re-engage 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 was suspended indefinitely on Nov. 15, the day after he ripped the helmet off Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph and hit him on the head with it at the end of a Thursday Night Football victory at home after a scrum on the ground during which Rudolph appeared to get a hand on Garrett's helmet, and kick him in the groin. Garrett missed Cleveland’s final six games and his loss was a major blow to the Browns, who went 2-4 without him, finished 6-10, fired coach Freddie Kitchens and saw general manager John Dorsey resign.

On Monday, Garrett met with Commissioner Roger Goodell and other league officials in the final step before he was cleared to return. Garrett was reinstated Wednesday.

It was during his hearing to appeal the suspension last year that Garrett alleged that Rudolph called him a racial slur. The NFL disputed this claim and said they found no such evidence of it. Garrett later said he never intended for that allegation to become public.

"Mason vehemently denies the report of being accused of using a racial slur,” a Steelers spokesman told ESPN's Jake Trotter at the time.

"I couldn't believe it," the quarterback said Nov. 24. "I couldn't believe he would go that route after the fact."

The NFL denied Garrett's appeal last November, upholding the indefinite suspension for the remainder of last season.

Garrett’s suspension is the longest for a single behavior in league history. Tennessee’s Albert Haynesworth was suspended five games for stomping on a player’s helmet-less head in 2006.

View continuing coverage of Myles Garrett here.

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BROWNS 2021 SCHEDULE

Preseason

WEEK 1 · TBD· At Jacksonville Jaguars (TBD/News 5 Cleveland)
WEEK 2 · TBD · New York Giants (TBD/News 5 Cleveland)
WEEK 3 · Sun 8/29 · 8:00 PM at Atlanta Falcons (NBC)

Regular Season

WEEK 1 · Sun 9/12 · 4:25 PM EST at Kansas City Chiefs (CBS)

WEEK 2 · Thu 9/19 · 1:00 PM EST Houston Texans (CBS)

WEEK 3 · Sun 9/26 · 1:00 PM EST Chicago Bears (FOX)

WEEK 4 · Sun 10/3 · 1:00 PM EST at Minnesota Vikings (CBS)

WEEK 5 · Sun 10/10 · 4:05 PM EST at Los Angeles Chargers (CBS)

WEEK 6 · Sun 10/17 · 4:05 PM EST Arizona Cardinals (FOX)

WEEK 7 · Thu 10/21 · 8:20 PM EST Denver Broncos (FOX/NFLN/AMZ)

WEEK 8 · Sun 10/31 · 1:00 PM EST Pittsburgh Steelers (CBS)

WEEK 9 · Sun 11/7 · 1:00 PM EST at Cincinnati Bengals (CBS)

WEEK 10 · Sun 11/14 · 1:00 PM EST at New England Patriots (CBS)

WEEK 11 · Sun 11/21 · 1:00 PM EST Detroit Lions (FOX)

WEEK 12 · Sun 11/28 · 8:20 PM EST at Baltimore Ravens (NBC)

WEEK 13 · BYE

WEEK 14 · Mon 12/12 · 1:00 PM EST Baltimore Ravens (CBS)

WEEK 15 · Dec. 18/19 · TBD Las Vegas Raiders (TBD)

WEEK 16 · Sat 12/25 · 4:30 PM at Green Bay Packers (FOX/NFLN/AMZ)

WEEK 17 · Mon 1/3 · 8:15 PM EST at Pittsburgh Steelers (ESPN)

WEEK 18 · Sun 1/9 · 1:00 PM EST Cincinnati Bengals (CBS)