UPDATE, 7:08 p.m. ET: Myles Garrett responded to ESPN’s report Thursday evening on Twitter.
— Myles "Flash" Garrett ⚡️ (@MylesLGarrett) November 22, 2019
Myles Garrett’s indefinite suspension was upheld by the NFL on Thursday, but it’s a accusation he made during his appeal that’s gaining national attention.
Browns defensive end alleged Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph directed a slur at him prior to last week’s on-field brawl during “Thursday Night Football,” according to ESPN. Garrett was ejected from the game after bashing Rudolph over the head with his own helmet in the final moments of last Thursday’s Browns-Steelers matchup.
But NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy said Thursday the league found “no such evidence” of this ever occurring.
Rudolph, who was fined $35,000 for his role in the melee, denies the allegation. His attorney, Timothy M. Younger, called Garrett’s claim “a lie.”
“This false allegation was never asserted by Garrett in the aftermath of the game, never suggested prior to the hearing, and conspicuously absent in the apology published by the Browns and adopted by Garrett,” Younger told ESPN on Thursday. “The malicious use of this wild and unfounded allegation is an assault on Mason’s integrity which is far worse than the physical assault witnessed on Thursday. This is reckless and shameful. We will have no further comment.”
Several Steelers players jumped to Rudolph’s defense Thursday, including team captain Cameron Heyward.
“(The allegation is) very serious,” Heyward said, per Chris Adamski of Trib Live. “We all have a brotherhood in this league, we all respect this league … To use that (defense) as your appeal, and to think that’s OK; one action doesn’t deserve another. I know Mason didn’t say it.”
Browns wideout Odell Beckham Jr., however, defended Garrett.
“I just don’t see Myles as someone who would lie or do anything like that,” Beckham said before Garrett’s suspension was upheld. “At this point, it is what it is.”
Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens declined to comment on his discussions about the incident with Garrett, saying Thursday, “What Myles and I talk about stays between Myles and I,” per ESPN.