Myles Garrett’s post-reinstatement non-justification justification falls flat

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Browns defensive end Myles Garrett pulled the plug (either at the behest of the Browns or on his own) on a FOX interview in the immediate aftermath of his indefinite suspension for hitting Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph over the head with his own helmet. Coincidentally (or not) an interview with Garrett landed one day after the NFL officially reinstated him.

The interview undoubtedly represents an effort by Garrett and/or those who advise him to undo damage in the court of public opinion. And the topic of Garrett hearing Rudolph utter a racial slur undoubtedly became part of the effort to make people understand why he blew a gasket, and to get some to say, “I understand why he did it. I would have done it, too.”

But Garrett supposedly was upset that his reference to the alleged slur — which Rudolph and the Steelers vehemently continues to deny — was leaked in the aftermath of Garrett’s original appeal hearing with the league. Kimes asked Garrett why he didn’t want that to get out.

“Because I didn’t want to try to use it as justification for my actions because there’s nothing to justify,” Garrett said. “There’s nothing that I can say or do to justify what I did on that day.”

Box. Checked.

I can’t say I’ve gotten cynical now that I’m on the wrong side of 50 because I’ve been cynical pretty much since I hit the wrong side of 22. That said, Garrett’s repeated references to an alleged slur are effort to justify what he did, and his repeated insistence that he doesn’t want to use it as justification falls flat.

Garrett couldn’t control the leaks from the hearing (assuming he truly didn’t want word of the slur to get out). But Garrett had full control over the ESPN interview. If he didn’t want the issue of the slur to come up at all, he could have made that a non-negotiable ground rule. ESPN then would have had to decide whether to proceed with the first exclusive! from Garrett following the November incident or move on.

“[Rudolph] said it, but that was three months ago, four months ago now,” Garrett added. “I leave that behind.”

But Garrett can’t leave it behind. Slurs or otherwise, he’s going to be repeatedly baited by opposing players in the hopes he blows a gasket again. And Garrett needs to be ready for it.

“I don’t have sympathy with Myles Garrett if in fact that is what happened,” Hall of Fame coach Tony Dungy said on PFT Live in the immediate aftermath of Garrett’s claim of a slur coming to light. “If we’re in the bottom of the pile and Mason Rudolph is kneeing you in the groin or he’s trying to poke your eye out or he’s twisting your knee, something that’s going to affect your ability to do your work and your career, then, yeah, you can go off. But you can’t go off because somebody said something to you. All kinds of things get said out there on the field. There’s four-letter words. In this case it may have been a six-letter word, a multi-syllable word. All of that happens. I can’t go off and jeopardize my team’s chances to go to the playoffs, my career, my ability to make money because somebody called me a name. I don’t care what name he said, that is not an excuse to me.”

Because Garrett has gone off once in response to such language, opponents will be trying to get him to go off again, in the hopes of seeing him sent off the field for six games again — or longer. While it’s wrong to use those slurs, it’s foolish to think he’s not going to constantly and repeatedly hear four-, six-, eight-, ten-, and 12-letter words all aimed at getting him to do something that results either in 15 yards of field position or his removal from the field of play.

16 responses to “Myles Garrett’s post-reinstatement non-justification justification falls flat

  1. All that we know is that Garrett “went off” and that there is no evidence to back up his assertion that anyone called him anything inappropriate.

    Garrett can repeat his unsupported assertion as many times as he likes but all it does is show that he is not ready to be playing football in the NFL.

    It seems irresponsible for the NFL to place its other players at risk by allowing someone who has shown a willingness to assault other players due to his own frustrations access to do the same thing again.

    Fool Roger once, shame on you, fool Roger twice shame on him.

  2. The NFL came out after listening to hot mics and flat out said that no slur was said. Garrett was lying trying to justify his actions to the league and the people by hiding under the race card. It is pathetic and demeans real instances of racial slurs being said. He should be ashamed.

  3. Straight out of a political playbook, divert attention away from your own irresponsibility because you were (supposedly) offended by words. How about you stand up and simply say, “I was wrong and I intend to never let it happen again” and then be done with it? The Browns went from fan favorites rising from the ashes to a despised group of crybabies, jerks, and losers.

  4. The NFL came out after listening to hot mics and flat out said that no slur was said.


    They said “no evidence to support allegations” which is very different from saying no slur was said. They NFL is effectively saying there is no audio – not that there is audio captured that shows it wasn’t said. They (or TMZ!) just need to release the audio.

  5. How hard is it to say, “I apologize for my actions and am determined to do better in the future.”?? One simple little sentence and all the nonsense (media attention) surrounding this slowly fades away.

  6. does anyone really believe that if Rudolph used that word that Garrett wouldn’t have been screaming at the top of his lungs that he was just called a racial slur and that’s why he lost it? Garrett tried to smash a guys head with his helmet, but wants everyone to believe he suddenly in the heat of the moment had a rational thought and didn’t want to make it about the racial slur he was supposedly just called. He knew he had nothing to support his claim so he waited until it was a private meeting to level the baseless charge. tripling down on it in the first opportunity he had after being reinstated tells me what a lying clown this guy really is.

  7. Garrett is a liar who takes zero responsibility for his actions. I hope he likes being suspended because he’s no better than Burfict now and the NFL will have a magnifying glass on his over the line play.

  8. Rewind the play to before either player yanked on a helmet and you will see a late hit and Garrett laying on him much longer than necessary. A dirty play by Garrett started this all

  9. From the first time I saw him play, I thought his style of play was too aggressive and would result in a lot of penalties, fines, and perhaps injury to other players. (Same reaction as I had the first time I saw Vontaze Burfict play.)

    What if he spears some guy, breaks the other player’s neck, and that player is paralyzed? Could the team and league bear legal (and financial) responsibility for putting him back on the field? Could be…

  10. always excuses he could have seriously hurt the guy, he remove helmet and swung all his night to hit a player in the head. The play was over he took mason down and held him down all Cleveland fans watch the complete tape.. this character lost his cool and now he wants to cry foul;

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