Before the likely poor quality football game between Cleveland and Miami began, Browns' co-owner Dee Haslam was wearing a hat in support of suspended player, Myles Garrett. Wearing the hat with Garrett's 95 number on it is a story alone, but the bigger story is how egregious this decision was.
My stance, and the common one, is not that Garrett should never play in the NFL again (though, there is reason to feel that way). However, there is absolutely no reason to publicly support Garrett right now.
Garrett's actions in Week 11, when he swung a helmet at Mason Rudolph, were inexcusable. Nothing Rudolph could have done warranted Garrett assaulting him with a weapon. Under no circumstance can Garrett's decision be accepted by anyone. In fact, what he did goes beyond a football issue, it should be a legal issue. But apparently, the person writing his check doesn't see it that way.
It's fair to wonder what Haslam was thinking today. It's baffling that anyone, let alone an NFL owner, would elect to take a stance that they have no issue with what occurred. It's not even clear what there is to support. Given how bad the results could have been if Rudolph suffered a serious head injury, there are now questions regarding what type of person and leader Haslam is.
She is the owner of the team and is openly condoning what many consider to be assault. The potential trickle-down effect is massive. This doesn't just send a message to the entire Browns' front office and locker room, it speaks to Garrett. If doing something as malicious as what he did follows his boss publicly promoting him, what lesson could he have learned? Instead of being mortified of committing an act along these lines again, Garrett will likely know in the back of his mind, he will still have the owner of the team accepting of his actions.
The Browns should be bothered by this, the NFL should be furious, the Steelers should be disgusted, and Rudolph should be disturbed. Dee Haslam owes all involved an apology for her hat choice.
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