Whether and about what parts he is telling the truth, Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett hasn’t necessarily done himself a ton of favors with the way that he has conducted himself since the middle of November, which began with him clonking Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph on the head with the player’s own helmet.
It was leaked a short time after the incident that Garrett had included, as part of his appeal hearing for an indefinite suspension he received stemming from the incident, the charge that Rudolph had used a racial slur targeted at him during the course of the action.
After his indefinite suspension was lifted earlier this year, he promptly accepted a request for an on-camera interview with ESPN during which he, for the first time publicly, restated the accusation, saying that Rudolph had called him a “stupid N-word”.
He now has certain regrets about the way he has handled everything, and naturally some might be suspicious about whether or not that at all stems from the fact that he has opened himself up to a lawsuit, should Rudolph choose to file one, for defamation of character.
In an interview with The Athletic about the charitable work that he is doing in Africa, Garrett says that he agreed to do the interview with ESPN as a way of talking about his Waterboys project, which he is currently engaging in now.
“I dropped the ball there”, he said about agreeing to the interview without consulting or informing the team—and presumably the league as well. “I should have told the Browns before I did it. It sprung up in my lap and I thought it was a good chance to talk about Waterboys. I knew they would bring up the incident. I would have my say on it and move on to the next topic”.
He noted that his father, at least in hindsight, would have advised him against re-airing the accusation in this fashion. “Have your say some other day. That’s the best way to put it”, he said of his father’s advice, who told him to “save it for your autobiography”.
Garrett did allow that he is done talking about the incident. “I’ll either say ‘next question’ or ignore it because we have talked enough about it and given it so much energy and time. We’ve got other things to worry about”.
He is now asking us to believe that he reignited the conversation over his allegation at the time that he did because he knew it would be a part of an opportunity to talk about his charitable work. How many of you, by the way, even realized that he talked about charity during the interview? The only thing that made it to the headlines was “stupid N-word”.