We are all well aware now of the events that took place during the week 11 game against the Cleveland Browns. The game is remembered not for the final score or outcome, but by the ugly events that transpired at the end of the game.
The reach of this event has extended well beyond football, as national news and media covered it thoroughly as well. Of course, I am talking about the Myles Garrett helmet swing at the exposed head of Mason Rudolph. Not only that, but the allegations that Myles Garrett made several days after the incident.
Garrett, while pleading his case to the league to prevent being suspended, claimed that Rudolph used a racial epithet. After a couple news cycles this story went away, but resurfaced this week after Garrett was officially reinstated to the NFL and doubled down on his allegations in an ESPN interview.
Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin wasted little time coming to the defense of Rudolph as he released a statement early Saturday morning, per Steelers Public Relations, Burt Lauten.
— Burt Lauten (@SteelersPRBurt) February 15, 2020
The statement reads,
“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.”
Mike Tomlin, as one of the most respected and veteran coaching presences in the game, came to the defense of his player on seemingly baseless accusations. Of course, we will never know exactly what happened in that altercation, but Tomlin going to bat for his guys sure is nice to see.
UPDATE (10:04 AM)
Mason Rudolph has publicly responded back, sending out this tweet.
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
— Mason Rudolph (@Rudolph2Mason) February 15, 2020
Rudolph’s lawyer also issued a statement, calling Garrett’s claim a “defamatory statement.”
— Younger & Associates/QB Limited (@YoungerAssoc) February 15, 2020