Mason Rudolph’s lawyer strongly hints that Myles Garrett will be sued

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In a world filled with #fakenews and social-media rumor mongering, it’s still a no-no to tell lies about someone in a manner that harms their reputation.

For that reason, Browns defensive end Myles Garrett may end up on the wrong side of the “v” in a lawsuit filed by Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph.

Rudolph’s agents and lawyer, Timothy Younger, has published a statement on Twitter that makes clear the possibility that Rudolph will be suing Garrett for defamation of character, based on the allegation that Rudolph used a racial slur before Garrett attacked Rudolph with his own helmet.

“Mr. Garrett maliciously uses this false allegation to coax sympathy, hoping to be excused for what clearly is inexcusable behavior,” Younger writes. “Despite other players and the referee being in the immediate vicinity, there are zero corroborating witnesses — as confirmed by the NFL. Although Mr. Rudolph had hoped to move forward, it is Mr. Garrett who has decided to utter this defamatory statement — in California. He is now exposed to legal liability.”

The reference to California isn’t gratuitous or accidental. The civil courts in California are regarded as being more favorable to the rights of those who make claims, both as to the juries who resolve the cases, the trial judges who hear them, and the appeals courts that craft the applicable legal principles.

Younger’s statement also mentions that Garrett’s attack on Rudolph constitutes battery. (Not assault.) A lawsuit could, in theory, include a battery claim, which would guarantee that the same jury that hears about the alleged racial slur will see the striking of Rudolph on the head with his own helmet, repeatedly. Which will tend to inflate the eventual verdict.

One thing for Younger to consider will be whether suing Garrett in civil court for battery (or assault) would give Garrett’s lawyers a basis for pulling the case into the broad reach of the NFL/NFLPA labor deal, which possibly prohibits players from suing each other for things that happen on the gridiron, forcing them instead to submit any grievances through a non-judicial process that would involve no judge, no jury, no California.

Garrett will have no such luck when it comes to a statement made in the offseason, far away from any football function or facility. He definitely is exposed to legal liability for what he said about Rudolph, unless Garrett can prove that what he said is true.

Of course, because Rudolph is a public figure, he’ll need to prove that Garrett acted with actual malice. And it will take more than Younger using the term “maliciously” in his statement. Under the law, “actual malice” arises in the defamation context when the person utter a false statement with actual knowledge that the statement is false or with reckless disregard to whether or not the statement is true or false.

The argument would (or at least could) be that Garrett made the public claim that Rudolph uttered a racial slur knowing that Rudolph previously had denied it and knowing that the NFL, which has microphones blanketing the field, had no evidence of it. Even if Garrett subjectively believes he heard it, at some point he needs to consider the broader evidence and ask himself whether he simply believes he heard something that wasn’t said.

Of course, it’s too late for that kind of backtracking now. Both sides are locked in to their stories, and this one ultimately could be decided, two or three years from now, by a group of people who will see the video of the battery (assault), hear the witnesses tell their stories about racial slurs that were or weren’t uttered, and decide whether Garrett violated Rudolph’s rights, as created and developed by the State of California.

64 responses to “Mason Rudolph’s lawyer strongly hints that Myles Garrett will be sued

  1. Both sides are making these comments as pr moves. Garrett is saying Rudolph made the comment so he can save face while Rudolph ‘s side is saying they will sue but it’s a he said he said case with no way of proving any of it.I do believe Rudolph but nothing will come of this.

  2. Garret is another criminal liar. He should be banned from the NFL. Well, it’s California in the bad news again. LA is a mess. Kroenke can’t get his stadium built for less than $5 to $6 billion dollars! The budget was $1.8. Corruption rules in LA.

  3. If Rudolph really didn’t say a racial slur, then I hope Garrett gets hit hard by the legal system. Using the race card when it isn’t true hurts everyone and makes real claims harder to believe.

  4. Only one person has anything to gain/lose by lying right now and its Rudolph. Garrett already got suspended, lost the game checks and got reinstated. So what would he possibly be posturing for? Am I the only one that finds it suspicious that the league that has cameras and mics everywhere and picks up every grunt, audible and celebration has 0 audio from that play. From anyone. And i dont blame them, either one of their #1 picks and defensive stars is lying or they let a guy yell a racial slur and gave him a light fine and no suspension.

  5. Possibly? The CBA clearly speaks to players filing civil suits to resolve workplace disputes. Arbitration maybe?

  6. Garett could also claim that Mason is a lying coward & not owning up to what he said to cause the reaction from Myles. The lawsuit won’t go anywhere & a waste of time & money. Steelers should just cut Mason R & get rid of the distraction.

  7. carloswlassiter says:
    February 15, 2020 at 11:00 am
    They were 4 inches apart during the alleged slur. How can anyone prove it didn’t happen?
    ========================
    Agreed. It is very hard to prove a negative. The old, “I have never cheated on my wife.” example. Can you prove that?

  8. Nothing is more cowardly than slandering someone by playing the race card to save your own hide. If Garrett is lying, then I hope Rudolph’s lawyer exposes him and clears his client’s name.

  9. Wow he is really salty he got his butt whooped after trying to act like a tough guy. I knew the Steelers were whiners but this is a new level lmao

  10. carloswlassiter says:
    February 15, 2020 at 11:00 am
    They were 4 inches apart during the alleged slur. How can anyone prove it didn’t happen?

    ————-

    Well, for starters, they didn’t appear to be whispering to each other at the time.

  11. If using a weapon against someone unarmed is whooping them, you are seriously a coward, to think that.

    Stick to actual whooping’s, the Bengals on a football field, is a great example of getting whooped, something you know a great deal about

  12. Defamation lawsuits are notoriously hard to prove. But it’s worth it for Rudolph to show that he’s fighting to clear his reputation.

  13. “Despite other players and the referee being in the immediate vicinity, there are zero corroborating witnesses ”

    Unless they were lying on the turf right next to Rudolph and Garrett, its unlikely anyone would have heard what words were exchanged by the 2 with 10s of thousands of fans screaming at the time

    Which also makes it seem Garrett’s claim is gratuitous since it can’t be truly disproved and wasn’t made till days after the incident.

  14. Rudolph does not come off as a leader of men, and this just proves it. Should have just sleeping dogs lie. Marginal skills anyway ,so he won’t be starting for the Steelers again. Pittsburgh draft’s another QB this APRIL

  15. Seriously? Oh brother. I can’t be the only one who is sick of “lawsuit” threats. It makes you look like a jackass to threaten a lawsuit as a form of manipulation or bullying. File the lawsuit or shut up about it. (Everyone knows it ain’t going to happen.)

  16. LET’S NOT FORGET THE ABSOLUTE FACT:

    NONE of this would have been an issue
    if mason rudolph didn’t go after Myles Garrett’s helmet FIRST

  17. Mason needs all the money he can get because he is a terrible QB. Myles will go on to a hall of fame career. Mason will be out of football in two years. He just trying to get paid.

  18. Love it. Make an example. If you’re gonna play the race card, you better be able to back it up. That’s someone’s reputation you’re burning to the ground to save face.

  19. nightclub_neil says:
    February 15, 2020 at 11:10 am
    Garrett should backtrack. We learned from the Smollet situation that backtracking and fading away tend to make everyone forget you lies in the first place.

    ———————————

    nobody forgot what smollet did, especially chicago. he was just re-indicted yesterday on 4 felony counts.

  20. I have mixed feelings about the situation. Just because the NFL found no evidence of Rudolph saying it doesnt mean that he didnt say it. Anyone thinking otherwise is either a troll or refuses to accept the possibility that he did.

    Garret should have led with that story the day of instead of waiting to play the race card down the road. I’ve seen many fights break out in school over similar situations and not once did they ever wait to say what started the fight when it involved the N word being said or anything race related. Again doesnt mean Garret lied but the longer you wait the less believable it becomes in this situation.

    If the NFL reviewed all the tapes and listened to the audio why not play the audio for everyone to hear? You can even play it with out the footage if you don’t want to show it.

    If this somehow makes it to court the audio will be released by someone I’m sure. Might as well just do it now IMO. If Rudolph said it his punishment should have been worse. If Garrett lied then his punishment should be worse.

    The only two people who actually know the truth at this point is Garrett and Rudolph everyone just has an opinion. Stop passing your opinion off as facts.

  21. If this is the only way Rudolph can be cleared of this accusation he should do it. As the article says, there are no corroborating witness among anyone on the field and this issue only came up when he was appealing his suspension. He’s hardly believable. He’s just playing the race card to justify his own actions and slandering Rudolph in the process. It wouldn’t be the first time something like that happened (like Smollett in Chicago). Garrett is a putz. He’s trying to save face and all he’s doing is digging a deeper hole.

  22. Gotta feel bad for Browns fans… this is the only thing they’ve had to hang their hats on for years. And now St. Garrett is getting sued!

  23. Someone (nflpa) needs to shut Garrett up. He played the good soldier to get back in to the league but now is talking non stop. Please stop Garrett. Not one person believes you and you’re maki g yourself look like an idiot

  24. Sue? Come off it already. That’s what happens when lawyers get involved. Here’s the $64 question – if Rudolph was so innocent, as he claims, why did he lose his 50K fine appeal? Perhaps he had the same idiotic lawyer. Now, maybe I should sue Rudoplh for being such a poor performer in his chance to show what he had last year. If any one player was responsible for the turmoil & loses in Pitt, maybe QB-2 needs to look in the mirror

  25. Rudolph’s problem is that he has no quantifiable damages. Even if Rudolph proves that Garrett’s statements defamed him, he cannot prove that the defamation caused him a monetary loss. He would have to prove that he lost an endorsement opportunity or some other form of money damages in order to meet all the elements of defamation.

  26. fordbw says:
    February 15, 2020 at 12:06 pm

    Garrett should welcome the lawsuit and should countersue. Rudolph was the one who started the whole thing.

    ——-

    Sue Rudolph for what exactly? Players can’t sue each other for getting roughed up on the field. The lawsuit against Garrett is because he defamed Rudolph outside the game, in public — twice.

    There’s no evidence any slur was said, outside of Garrett’s claim, and he was desperate to not lose his million-dollar career. No one else on the field heard it. The NFL investigated and found no audio or other witnesses. Mike Tomlin would cut Rudolph’s ass in two seconds if it was true, believe that!

    Instead, Freddie Kitchens was fired at the end of the season. Why? The team was “out of control.”

    It’s way more believable that Myles said something privately (he thought) that he hoped would cut himself some slack, than to believe there’s a huge conspiracy among the NFL, referees, coaches, players and entire media to protect backup QB Mason Rudolph.

  27. Any logical person would see that Garrett is a liar. After the game, he apologized to Rudolph! That was when he or other teammates could have supported the use of a racial slur, but that did not happen at all. Then when he met with the NFL and thought his comments would remain private, he comes up with the racial slur excuse to try to get a lesser suspension from the NFL. He is a liar and still should be suspended for almost killing Rudolph with the helmet. I hope Rudolph sues the pants off Garrett.

  28. If that can’t be proved, or disproved, then we may never know the truth.
    Even if this suit ends up with verdict, the jury could be wrong.
    Without audio or a witness, there is no evidence either way.

    If I was either of their attorney, and my client is telling me he is innocent, I would request both submit to a lie detector test.
    Not foolproof, but somewhat more accurate than “he said – he said”
    If one refuses, then that says ‘something’ too.

    The best thing was for all to move on, put it behind.
    Rudolph, if innocent, doesnt need a lawsuit to clear his name.
    Best way to do that is simply be a good person.
    If you didnt say that, then your heart is clean.

    Garrett can rebuild his name by not getting in any more trouble.
    It’s up to him to prove that. I truly hope he’s learned.
    He has great talent, and hopefully never again does anything even near that stupid.
    If he did hear that word, it certainly mitigates his actions.
    IF so, Rudolph is a huge POS coward.

    Either way, we’ll never truly know.

    In all my decades of watching the NFL, it was the strangest stupid thing to see live when it happened.

  29. Garrett’s damaging lazy excuse for his behavior should result in being sued. He is the Justin Smollett of the NFL.

  30. How about mason rudolph comes out and apologizes
    for starting it by grabbing Garrett’s helmet first.

    Take some responsibility.

  31. Will be interesting when Garrett begins to compile his customary 15.yarders.to open season. How quick to suspend again?

  32. Garrett blew it on Tv not once but twice. Mason deserves his day and looks like he has had enough of the accusations.

  33. Can’t believe there’s some who actually believe this was all Rudolph’s fault, what if Garrett would have killed him, you think he would be innocent, oh he called me the n-word so I killed him, well let’s see here Mason should not of said that so Myles you go free CMON.

  34. “Garrett already got suspended, lost the game checks and got reinstated. So what would he possibly be posturing for? ”

    To help boost his reputation after he lost his cool and behaved like a maniac swinging his helmet at a defenseless player.

  35. NFL and Rudolph should be concerned with where that helmet was misplaced immediately after the altercation. Next lawsuit will be filed against NFL and testimony will not be optional for Roger and all involved…

  36. You said it yourself. The NFL has the entire field blanketed with mics. So release the audio of that fateful night and let justice be served. Anything less is hearsay from Myles, Mason AND the NFL.

  37. This is the saddest thing in the world. Even if Garrett made it up, Rudolph needs to man up and move on. This kid is quickly ruining his future in the NFL by becoming nothing more than a negative distraction. I can’t believe Tomlin doesn’t smack this baby upside the head and tell him to snap out of it.

  38. Until they slowly play the video for the jurors which culminates in a man being restrained and another man attacking him so he defended himself. I’m no lawyer, but if a person showed me the event in its entirety frame by frame, Rudolph wouldn’t get a dime.

  39. There were 2 of Randolp’s teammates very close to the situation and neither one of them heard anything. I know Pouncey was one of them, but not sure if the other player was a black. Prety sure Pouncy said he didn’t say anything.

  40. Isn’t California the state where you have the right to come forward and prove you are innocent before being throw in jail, or out of office?

  41. This is a person’s reputation and character on the line. Once someone gets branded a racist, it never goes away. Garrett should have let it fade away. But no, he had to repeat this claim. I do think Rudolph should sue. I firmly believe if he said it, then someone would have heard it. Or Garrett would have said something to a teammate after the gm. He did no such thing. So I don’t believe Garrett. It is way too convenient what he did. As others have stated, he is trying to paint himself as the victim and garner sympathy. That ship has sailed.

  42. For anyone to justify Garrett swinging a helmet at Rudolph is obviously a couple cans shy of a six pack. There are people on here saying that Rudolph should not sue. He is not suing for what happened on the field, he is suing for what was said off the field. Don’t you get that? If someone on your job accused you falsely of saying something like that, don’t you think you should have the right to defend yourself? Legal action is the only way for Rudolph to defend himself in the media and to fight for protection of his reputation. I doubt Rudolph is doing this to make money from it given that his lawyer only started talking about a lawsuit after psycho Garrett made the claim a second time around. They were letting it go until Garrett opened up his big mouth to justify his sicko behavior. I do not believe in frivolous lawsuits and believe it is ruining our judicial system but i do not consider this frivolous when Garrett is accusing this man of racist behavior which would follow him around the rest of his career. If he did say it, then he should have to face the consequences but i don’t believe he did and Garrett should have to answer for making a false claim if this is indeed not true. There should be repercussions for falsely playing the race card.

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