In an interview with ESPN's Mina Kimes, Myles Garrett doubled-down on his assertion that Mason Rudolph used a racial slur right before the helmet-swinging incident that rocked the NFL. This morning, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin came to his quarterback's defense with a statement.
“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,” Tomlin said. “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.”
Rudolph himself vehemently denies using the N-word and is accusing Garrett of trying to assassinate his character.
Rudolph's attorneys also issued a statement categorizing Garrett's claims as defamatory and suggesting he's opened himself up to legal liability.
So if you thought this was going away, think again. There's time to get off the track, but all signs point to a potential suit. If so, the discovery process will be highly compelling.
It's impossible right now to know what was said or wasn't in the moment. The only two people who know have vastly different recollections. Yet it cannot be a misunderstanding. One doesn't mishear or misinterpret this type of language.
Absent evidence, it's natural to be reasonably skeptical of Garrett's assertions. But it's also important to point out that just because audio damning Rudolph has yet to emerge, that doesn't mean it doesn't exist.
From an outsider's perspective it would seem as though the NFL would be desperate not to have such a recording come out.
Like so many other issues, most people have made up their mind as to who is telling the truth and it will take something drastic to move those entrenched on each side.