Tomlin defends Rudolph: 'I took offense' to Garrett's accusation

Ross Houston
February 18, 2020

During an interview with ESPN, his first since being hit with a suspension after slugging Rudolph in the head with Rudolph's own helmet in the final seconds of a Browns win on November 14, Garrett said Rudolph called the defensive end "the N-word".

"It was presented as a he said-he said situation, even to this day", Tomlin said.

"It was a thorough investigation done by us and the Nation Football League, I don't think that was represented during that piece [that aired on ESPN]", Tomlin said. "Garrett, after originally apologizing to Mason Rudolph, has made the ill-advised choice of publishing the belated and false allegation that Mr. Rudolph uttered a racial slur on the night in question". We were placed in these circumstances, this is not something that we desired to be involved in, to be quite honest with you.

"In my conversations (with the Browns), I had a lot of sorrow for what transpired, " Tomlin said in a statement.

Cleveland Browns defensive superstar Myles Garrett was reinstated by the National Football League this week after the indefinite suspension that resulted when he swung his helmet and hit the head of Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph back in November.

On his reasoning about his rare television appearance, Tomlin simply said, "When these allegations returned this past weekend, I thought it was appropriate that Mason was properly defended". "These accusations are serious, not only in terms of his character but his professional pursuits".

Ogunjobi also said in December that Garrett told him Rudolph used a slur immediately after the brawl.

The NFL's investigation into Garrett's allegation revealed no evidence supporting the claim. Then, we had to move on, we had another game awaiting us. Nobody on that field corroborated what was said by Myles Garrett. Luckily for both parties, we have months before that will happen.

"As we said at the time the allegation was made, we looked into the matter and found no such evidence", McCarthy said. The spokesman added that linemen are mic'd up to amplify ambient sound but that the mics do not record and are shut off after the ball is snapped. But they do not record sound.

Tomlin was also angry at the suggestion by Garrett that the Steelers somehow participated in a cover-up of the audio that he believes must have existed.

"He got fined $50,000 for essentially getting beaten up", the coach said Monday. "Obviously he was an active participant in the altercation, but a lot of the things that have gone on beyond that, I struggle with". His reputation has been tarnished because of the allegations, none of which was founded.

In a statement issued Saturday, Rudolph's agent and attorney, Tim Younger, said the "defamatory" statements by Garrett exposed him to "legal liability".

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