Browns, Steelers players react to Myles Garrett's racial slur accusation against Mason Rudolph

Sporting News

Myles Garrett's indefinite suspension was upheld Thursday afternoon, but the Browns and Steelers are still dealing with the fallout from the brawl sparked by Garrett striking Pittsburgh quarterback Mason Rudolph with his own helmet.

During his appeal hearing with the NFL on Wednesday, the Browns defensive end claimed Rudolph called him a racial slur right before a fight broke out between Cleveland and Pittsburgh at the end of their "Thursday Night Football" game on Nov. 14, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter and Josina Anderson. An NFL spokersperson said the league looked into Garrett's allegation but "found no such evidence" Rudolph uttered a racial slur, per Schefter.

MORE: Rudolph discusses role in Browns-Steelers brawl

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Rudolph has strongly denied Garrett's allegation through a Steelers spokesperson, who said Rudolph "will not discuss this accusation any further" and added "his focus remains on preparation for Sunday's game against the Cincinnati Bengals." Rudolph was not available to speak to reporters following the team's Thursday afternoon practice, but a few Browns and Steelers players addressed Garrett's accusation upon hearing the news.

Garrett tweeted Thursday night that "I know what I heard" but added that Rudolph's alleged actions "do not excuse my lack of restraint in the moment."

Here is how players on both sides of the AFC North rivalry responded, plus Garrett's full statement.

Browns DE Myles Garrett

Steelers QB Mason Rudolph (via attorney)

"According to ESPN, in his appeal, Myles Garrett falsely asserted that Mason Rudolph uttered a racial slur toward him, prior to swinging a helmet at Mason's uncovered head, in a desperate attempt to mitigate his suspension," said Timothy M. Younger, Rudolph's attorney. "This is 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.

"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."

Browns QB Baker Mayfield

Browns WR Odell Beckham Jr.

"At this point, it is what it is," Beckham said. "We're all just kind of waiting and just hope that justice is served, or whatever the case is gonna be for [Garrett]. The biggest focus for us right now is — while in supporting him and being there for him as a brother, as a teammate — is to focus on the Dolphins."

Browns WR Jarvis Landry

Steelers DT Cam Heyward

"It's very serious," Heyward said. "We all have a brotherhood in this league, and we all respect this league. It should never get taken out of context and think those words should be put in our game, but to use that as your appeal, and think that's OK? One action doesn't deserve another.

"I know Mason didn't say it. Mason came to me and told me he did not say it."

Steelers QB Devlin 'Duck' Hodges

Browns G Joel Bitonio​

Browns DT Sheldon Richardson

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