PITTSBURGH — Pittsburgh Steelers QB Mason Rudolph took to Twitter Saturday morning to push back against allegations that he used a racial slur during the final moments of the Browns-Steelers game last November.
“1000% false. Bold-faced lie,” Rudolph Tweeted. “I did not, have not, and would not utter a racial-slur.”
Rudolph’s tweet was in response to Garrett’s interview with SportsCenter where Garrett claimed that the Steelers QB made a racially charged derogatory remark.
“This is a disgusting and reckless attempt to assassinate my character,” Rudolph Tweeted.
1000% False.— Mason Rudolph (@Rudolph2Mason) February 15, 2020
I did not, have not, and would not utter a racial-slur.
This is a disgusting and reckless attempt to assassinate my character. https://t.co/mZcEcC0tCl
Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin issued the following statement on the team's website Saturday:
"I support Mason Rudolph not only because I know him, but also because I was on that field immediately following the altercation with Myles Garrett, and subsequently after the game. I interacted with a lot of people in the Cleveland Browns organization – players and coaches. If Mason said what Myles claimed, it would have come out during the many interactions I had with those in the Browns' organization. In my conversations, I had a lot of expressions of sorrow for what transpired. I received no indication of anything racial or anything of that nature in those interactions."
Garrett was suspended indefinitely on Nov. 15, the day after he ripped the helmet off Rudolph and hit him on the head with it at the end of a Thursday Night Football victory. The altercation happened 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 "mutually parted ways" with general manager John Dorsey.
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.
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.