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NFL finds no evidence that Steelers QB used racial slur to provoke helmet attack by Myles Garrett

None of the players say they heard it

Jason Miller/Getty Images

After an investigation, the NFL has found "no such evidence" that Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph used a racial slur toward Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett during an on-field altercation on Nov. 14, according to ESPN.

Garrett was suspended indefinitely for ripping Rudolph's helmet off his head and hitting him with it, while Rudolph was not suspended at all, despite apparently being involved in starting the fight.

Myles Garrett Hits Mason Rudolph With His Helmet | Browns vs. Steelers Fight youtu.be


Garrett did not mention the allegation in the immediate aftermath of the fight, but rather made the claim on Wednesday during an appeal hearing with the NFL. Even after the league's determination, Garrett stands by his accusation.

"I was assured that the hearing was space that afforded the opportunity to speak openly and honestly about the incident that led to my suspension," Garrett said. "This was not meant for public dissemination, nor was it a convenient attempt to justify my actions or restore my image in the eyes of those I disappointed. I know what I heard. Whether my opponent's comment was born out of frustration or ignorance, I cannot say. But his actions do not excuse my lack of restraint in the moment, and I truly regret the impact this has had on the league, the Browns and our devoted fans."

Rudolph, through a team spokesman and through his lawyer, denied the allegation. From his attorney, Tim Younger:

"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. 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."
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