CLEVELAND, Ohio (WKBN) – Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett alleged that Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph called him a racial slur, leading to a brawl during the football game, ESPN reports.
According to ESPN, Garrett reportedly made the claim during an appeal hearing with the NFL, but a Steelers spokesman said Rudolph denied using a slur.
Wednesday, Rudolph told reporters that he “definitely didn’t say anything” to escalate the situation with Garrett, saying while he could have kept his composure better, he was just trying to get away from Garrett.
Garrett and Rudolph became entangled on the next-to-last Steelers snap of Cleveland’s lopsided 21-7 victory. Rudolph flipped a short pass to running back Jaylen Samuels just before getting hit by Garrett, who twisted Rudolph to the ground as play continued downfield.
Rudolph took exception to Garrett wrapping him up, calling it “late.” Rudolph said he was trying to separate himself from Garrett — who was not flagged on the play — when he briefly grabbed the back of the 6-foot-4, 272-pound Garrett’s helmet.
Garrett responded by tugging at Rudolph’s facemask, eventually ripping it off and holding it high while Steelers guard David DeCastro attempted to separate them. Rudolph scrambled to his feet and gave chase in an apparent attempt to retrieve his helmet. Garrett then swung the helmet at Rudolph, connecting on the right side of Rudolph’s head.
The chaos that followed included Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey punching and kicking Garrett and Rudolph getting knocked to the ground by a blind-side hit from Cleveland defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi.
In addition to handing out a record suspension to Garrett, the NFL banned Pouncey for three games and ordered Ogunjobi to sit out on Sunday when the Browns host Miami.
Garrett’s suspension was upheld after the appeal, while Pouncey’s discipline was reduced.
Rudolph hasn’t been disciplined yet for the incident.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.