Mike Tomlin “hacked off” by ESPN’s handling of Myles Garrett interview

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Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin released a statement over the weekend in response to Browns defensive end Myles Garrett‘s allegation during an interview with Mina Kimes of ESPN that Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph used the N-word during their altercation at the end of a game last November.

In that statement, Tomlin said he had “received no indication of anything racial or anything of that nature in those interactions” and he repeated that during an appearance on ESPN Monday. Tomlin told Stephen A. Smith that he thought that it was best for everyone to “shut up and move on,” but he chose to take a different path because he was “hacked off” about the way ESPN handled the Garrett interview.

Tomlin said he thought a panel discussion following the interview presented it as a “he-said, he-said” situation without referencing the NFL’s investigation into Garrett’s allegation coming back with no evidence supporting the claim. While Kimes asked Garrett about the NFL’s findings and ESPN made other references to the investigation, Tomlin’s feeling was that the “way it was presented wasn’t fair to Mason Rudolph.”

“These accusations are serious. Not only in terms of Mason Rudolph’s character but his professional pursuits . . . It’s been a lot of negativity around Mason Rudolph. He got fined $50,000 for essentially getting beat up. His reputation was tarnished for the allegations,” Tomlin said.

Smith asked Tomlin about the depth of the investigation and Tomlin said he believed it was a thorough one because of how the league has handled other incidents. He also said no one from the Steelers would “cover up” the use of a racial slur.

Tomlin said he didn’t know what other steps Rudolph will take when asked about a lawsuit, but wouldn’t blame him for aggressively defending his reputation in the face of Garrett’s allegation.

49 responses to “Mike Tomlin “hacked off” by ESPN’s handling of Myles Garrett interview

  1. Good for him. I’ve criticised Coach Tomlin a bit over the years, but good for him standing up for his player..and on general principle. Garrett’s claim is such an obvious lie and he should be called out on it.

  2. Whether he said it or not, he started the altercation by trying to rip off Garrett’s helmet. He didn’t get fined for no reason, he should have also been suspended for being the instigator so he’s lucky he didn’t get worse.

  3. “If Myles Garrett fabricated the allegations, I would think that he could be permanently banned from the NFL”

    I don’t. Look at the various spousal abusers they’ve suspended but let back in the league. If you can beat a woman and get reinstated you can make unsubstantiated claims and get back in too no question about it.

  4. If Garrett doesn’t lay on Rudolph and pin him down Rudolph doesn’t try other methods to get Garrett off of him. Just face it, Garrett is another Antonio Brown waiting to happen.

  5. “Smith asked Tomlin about the depth of the investigation and Tomlin said he believed it was a thorough one because of how the league has handled other incidents.”
    Right or wrong about what actually happened Tomlin clearly not been paying attention as to how the league has handled other incidents.

  6. Well done Coach Tomlin. ESPN did a horrible job with the interview. He put them in their place. Garrett should get sued by Rudolph.

  7. Good for Tomlin, who’s a class act. Garrett, on the other hand, is a slime ball who’s only move is to play the race card in order to defend his criminal behavior on the football field.

  8. I think had Garrett just shut his mouth this all would have blown over. Now I think both the ref’s and the league may watch him a little closer. He’s a great talent and too young to have the reputation of being a dirty player and a guy with no character.

  9. I believe Garrett believes he heard it. That’s why eyewitness testimony can be unreliable. But, lacking any verifiable audio evidence or support from teammates or opponents, I’m surprised he’s pressing on.

  10. So the same NFL investigations that people have complained about for years and suddenly in-depth?

    I appreciate the Steelers fans coming out to support their guy but I wouldn’t trust the NFL to be honest with anything that could hurt the bottom line and a white QB saying that word to a black player would cause that.

  11. Amateur interview…If Rudolph said it, he’d have to worry that one day audio would come out or someone else might come forward as to hearing it. Not sure it works the other way around, therefore, perhaps, easier for Myles to lie on this one…Lyles Garrett?

  12. Very easy way for this to be put to rest. Goodell tells both players that they need to take an FBI administered lie-detector test. If either refuses the NFL will make it public. They will then subject that player to further discipline if they or their agent mention it again. If either or both fail the player(s) will be subject to further discipline.

  13. Remember the guy at the stoplight that apparently punched Garrett in the face? Yet no one ever found him?

    That was an interesting story too, Myles.

  14. welcometothefold95 says:
    February 17, 2020 at 2:00 pm
    Remember the guy at the stoplight that apparently punched Garrett in the face? Yet no one ever found him?

    That was an interesting story too, Myles.

    Poor Myles big NFL defense lineman gets punch by a fan.

  15. So Goodell tried to suspend a few of my Saints players for an entire year, even scott Fajita 4 games even though he didn’t participate but ‘should have known better.’ And Garrett commits a felony in every state of America on tape. A battery with a dangerous weapon. If he hit him hard enough in the right spot Rudolph could have died and he gets 6 games. Another example of the commissioner’s incompetence.

  16. This reminds me of the time when ESPN had the interview and the follow-on panel discussion when AB hurled racial slurs at Mayock in a tantrum rage, witnessed by multiple people and never disputed.

    Oh wait. Guess not. My bad.

  17. This has backfired on Garrett as now Tomlin has attacked the interviews as well as Dungy. Two highly respected members of the NFL. Time these type individuals be held accountable for their actions and make the NFL a better product

  18. Tomlin should worry more about not making the playoff the last 2 yrs with a 3rd one on its way.


    Tomlin has been to two ( 2 ) Super Bowls having won one ( 1 ). How many have the Browns been to ……….. zero ( 0 ). Browns fans always talk until the games start counting and then they talk about about the next draft.

  19. Lyles Garrett obviously has problems with the truth. Maybe he needs to be put back on suspension and learn some remorse for battering Mason Rudolph with a helmet. Remember when Gregg Williams had trouble with Lyles Garrett? Williams put him back in his place real quick and Garrett walked away with his tail between his legs!

  20. Don’t you think Pouncy would have jumped in to support Rudolph if he had used that word. The NFL found no evidence of this or any witnesses. This is Slander and I think the NFL should suspend him a couple more games for starting this up.

  21. Rudolph can’t prove he didn’t say it anymore than Garrett can prove he said it. They were face to face, he could have easily said it so nobody but Garret heard it. There is no audio of the situation at all. Not one word recorded. You really think that all happened with no words said whatsoever? You’ve obviously never been in a scrap.

  22. firstdownbrowns says:
    February 17, 2020 at 12:54 pm
    Tomlin should worry more about not making the playoff the last 2 yrs with a 3rd one on its way.

    Remember the last time the Browns won anything other than a first round draft pick? Me neither.

  23. “I believe Garrett believes he heard it. That’s why eyewitness testimony can be unreliable.”

    He believes he heard it so eyewitnesses aren’t reliable. That’s ridiculous.

  24. Having made the accusation, the burden of proof is on Garrett. There is not a single ounce of evidence to support his claim and his continuing to assert it is just foolish. He’s literally begging to be taken to court.

  25. What if Mason wins his suit against Miles? Is lying about a racial insult grounds for another suspension under the Personal Conduct Policy?

  26. Don’t you think an outspoken team leader like Baker Mayfield
    would have heard about a racial slur triggering Lyles Garrett’s
    outrage, in the 7 days following the game? He would have spoken out
    about it to defend a teammate following such an explosive event.

    He was as shocked and surprised as anyone.
    Lyles Garrett is lying.

  27. “mrcneff says:
    I believe Garrett believes he heard it”

    If he did, he would have said so immediately, not days later. He’s just plainly a liar.

  28. Let me get this straight……at this point the only person alleging this occurred is Myles Garrett……and there is no evidence, no witnesses and nothing tangible to prove this happened.

    The Browns need to pull him in the office and tell him to “shut up”.

  29. I am glad all the Steeler’s fan here were there on the field and heard everything being done in split second time. Then sone here double down on believing the NFL front office tells the truth.

    There are many reason why Garrett did not come out publicly immediately after the incident. He told Browns coaching staff.
    To say he is guilty because of how he handled telling the world with what was said is ridiculous.

    Myles Garrett is guilty of assault. Just like all of the cheap shots Steelers players have done to the Browns for years.

    I took great joy watching the first meeting of Browns Steelers game of 2019. The Browns gave the Steelers a little taste of their own medicine by knocking several players out of the game with questionable hits.

  30. IF Rudolph said it why didnt Garrett bring it up at his locker when he was interviewed after the game when he said he lost his cool to reporters but NEVER mentions is immediately after it happened.
    Story sounds like its a little light on the truth

  31. last playoff game for Pitt . Jags mop the floor with them with that HOF QB Blake Bortles ..icing on the cake the game was Pitt. keep talking Steeler fan .. i know im enjoying this..


  33. Myles Garrett is at fault for hitting Rudolph. He chose how he was going to react and deserved the punishment he received. His recent comments are not helping the situation at all.

    Having said that, Tomlin played a role in setting the stage for the incident. After the 2 minute warning, he could have let the clock run and the game end. Instead, he called timeouts to force the Browns to punt. Then, he had Rudolph throw short passes and the receivers run out of bounds to stop the clock. I get it, if the Steelers got a quick score to make it 21-14, they just need to recover an onside kick to have a chance to tie. The “quick score” never happened, though. After 2 straight sacks, on 3rd and 29 on your own 17 with less than 20 seconds left, just hand the ball off and end the game. Not Tomlin, though, he runs another short pass play where the receiver runs out of bounds.

    Again, Garrett is responsible for his own actions, but if Tomlin wasn’t being a sore loser, the game ends with Pittsburgh running out the clock and no confrontation happens.

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