Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett lost his suspension appeal and his 2019 season is now officially over. It was reported that Garrett claimed Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph said a racial slur to him during their fight last week. On Thursday, Garrett released a statement about his claim, saying that while he didn't want it to become public knowledge, he stands by his claim.
“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, or 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.”
Browns general manager John Dorsey talked about Garrett's suspension and claim on Rudolph and is standing by the former No. 1 overall pick.
“As we’ve consistently stated, our organizational support for Myles will continue,” Browns G.M. John Dorsey said. “He is a man of high character and unquestionable integrity. He was open and honest with us about the incident from the start. He has taken accountability for his actions on Thursday night and this situation will not define him. As an organization, our focus going forward remains on the task at hand, which is preparing for the Miami Dolphins.”
After the NFL made the ruling on Garrett, they released a statement on his racial slur and said, "We looked into it and found no such evidence." As for Rudolph, the team released a statement on his behalf which said he denied saying a racial slur to Garrett.
"Mason vehemently denies the report of being accused of using a racial slur during the incident Thursday night in Cleveland," Steelers spokesman Burt Lauten said in a statement. "He will not discuss this accusation any further and his focus remains on preparation for Sunday's game against the Cincinnati Bengals."