Thursday, Myles Garrett, kept his story the same as he clearly told ESPN's Mina Kimes that Steelers QB Mason Rudolph used the term at the end of the game.
The ensuing brawl captivated social media and was replayed ad nauseam on broadcast TV. It was great for clicks but bad for the game. So before we go further let's list what we know versus what we see on social media via conjecture.
I reccomned you turn off the announcers, they make up their minds early.
- The NFL found no evidence of the slur on video
- Social Media found no evidence of a slur on video
- There was no close, tight, telling shot found by any one of the "time" the slur would have been used. Basically no evidence for OR against
- Mason Rudolph was the first guy to escalate and start tugging on helmets.
- After a back and forth Garrett got Rudolph's helmet
- It was 3 on 1 vs Garrett with him getting pummeled by 2 of them BEFORE He swung the helmet he won from Mason.
- Mason (sans helmet) was free and clear yet ran around his own guys to continue to attack Garrett, escalating the event
- That was when Garrett swung the helmet at Rudolph's head.
- Steeler players piled on and were seen punching and kicking at Garrett
- It got old-school
- Garrett admits helmet swing was wrong, states he was reacting but taking responsibility that it was inexcusable
- In private to teammates, he explains the racial slur that set him off
- Rudolph blames it all on Garrett
- NFL investigates
- NFL Suspends Garrett "indefinitely"
- Garrett appeals
- NFL investigates (again) and leaks Garrett's slur-defense
- Garrett is upset NFL leaked what he was told was a private meeting
- Rudolph denies racial slur
- NFL gives indefinite suspension to Garrett
- NFL does not even fine Rudolph
- NFL revises and decides to give Mason Rudolph a $50k fine in response to pushback over none
- NFL punishes a total of 33 people from the scrum. The players throwing punches and kicking a player in the head while he is on the ground were also suspended but that got huge pushback from pundits as they saw it as "justified."
- Garrett is reinstated
And that is where we are today. Garrett is now reinstated, he is sticking with his story and the NFL dropped the hammer on him for doing it as they are all about optics versus being fair. At least they are consistent.
A total black eye for the NFL is now in the rearview mirror. A bulls-eye is on Garrett's back when he plays the Steelers or faces any other player who views his actions as egregious. He has his supporters who believe him and also view the lopsided conversation through jaundiced eyes. Yet Garrett himself has always taken the stance that his actions were wrong. That there was no reason big enough for him to react the way he did and that it was his responsibility. He took this stance from the moment he was questioned by Brown's personnel.
I don't know if Mason Rudolph said what he is accused of. I do know that Garrett believes he heard Rudolph say it. This could be a case of one side lying or (more likely) it could be a freaking Greek Tragedy that played out before our eyes. Either way, Garrett seems to have his head on straight in regards to what is expected of him. The Brown's need him and the NFL is a better product with him on the field.
Can't wait for the next Steelers vs Browns game!