Taking a closer look at Myles Garrett’s explanation of the Mason Rudolph incident

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Whatever happens moving forward between Browns defensive end Myles Garrett and Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph, one thing is clear: Myles Garrett has told a story that he’ll have to own, if/when Rudolph files a defamation lawsuit.

In last week’s ESPN interview, which came only one day Garrett was reinstated by the NFL, Garrett locked in his own future testimony, if/when there’s a reason to testify.

“I go to take him down, he says some words as we’re going down,” Garrett said.

The video of the incident suggests a much more simple explanation for the provocation. Rudolph tried to remove Garrett’s helmet. Garrett didn’t like that, so he tried to remove Rudolph’s helmet. And succeeded. Then, when Rudolph charged at Garrett without a helmet, Garrett swung the helmet and struck Rudolph in the head.

So why is Garrett claiming that he heard a slur from Rudolph amid the scrum that played out? Without semi-plausible justification for Garrett’s extreme reaction, Garrett basically becomes the new Vontaze Burfict — a reckless rule-breaker who plays beyond the limits of the game and who has a short fuse. By claiming that Rudolph used a slur, Garrett’s explosion makes more sense.

What doesn’t make sense is Garrett’s attempt to explain the absence of audio evidence of the slur.

“Most quarterbacks wear mics in their helmets,” Garrett said, ignoring that quarterbacks wear speakers not microphones in their helmets. “He somehow lost his helmet and had to get another one without a mic.”

Again, quarterback helmets never have microphones. And the notion that Rudolph “lost his helmet” is flat-out false (unless Garrett is referring to the moment when he removed Rudolph’s helmet from his head). It’s clear from the TV broadcast that Rudolph had his helmet — with a number 2 decal inside the front and back stripe and the green dot that signifies the presence of a speaker (not microphone) inside the helmet.

“There were guys who were mic’d up near me, near us in that time who didn’t hear anything,” Garrett added. “From what I’ve heard there’ve been audio in that game that could have heard something or could not have heard something. But they don’t want to say. So something was said. I know something was said. Now, whether the NFL wants to acknowledge it, it’s up to them.”

The NFL has made it clear that any microphones on the uniforms of nearby players did not record audio. But, again, that shouldn’t get in the way of Garrett’s effort to prevent himself from developing a Burfictian reputation.

“I don’t want to make it a racial thing, honestly,” Garrett said. “It’s over with for me. And I’m pretty sure it’s over with for Mason.”

I’ll agree that Garrett doesn’t want to make it a racial thing. Garrett simply wants to make his behavior seem rational and reasonable, even if it means painting Rudolph as a racist in the process. But here’s the thing: If the use of a slur had made Garrett livid enough to hit Rudolph over the head with his own helmet with only nine seconds on the clock, wouldn’t Garrett have been still upset when speaking at his locker after the game? He wasn’t. He was calm and cool as he calmly explained that he lost his cool.

I’ll disagree that it’s over with for Mason. His lawyer has rattled the sword of litigation. Even if a lawsuit is never filed, the issue isn’t over. The next question is whether Rudolph decides to proceed with the filing of a lawsuit.

23 responses to “Taking a closer look at Myles Garrett’s explanation of the Mason Rudolph incident

  1. To try and paint Garrett as a Burfict is nonsense. Look at Garrett’s history over two years of play and there is no indication of him being a dirty player. One incident doesn’t make him that type of player and begs the question about what made him lose it.

  2. Oh it’s definitely not over for Mason, he’ll get a settlement worth more than what he’ll sign in contract money with any NFL team.

  3. I hope Mason does sue for defamation. I do not believe Garrett at all. I’d love to see him face the music for a terrible attack on Mason’s character. And, no, I am not an Oklahoma State fan. Boomer.

  4. Mile garret has more chance to make 100 Million. He is actually very good at football. Mason, unfortunately for the Steelers, is not.

  5. A law suit would be pointless, it’ll be Garrett’s word vs. Rudolph’s. In the absence of any proof, how can anyone make a determination as to whether or not it actually happened?

  6. “wouldn’t Garrett have been still upset when speaking at his locker after the game?”

    Maybe, and maybe not. That is hardly a binary outcome you make it out to be. Maybe he was and just held it back in that moment.

  7. So, the conflict that someone has when they do something bad. They will make it a big deal out of it and everyone would say, oh he is saying this because he smashed the helmet over the guys head. Then on the other hand, he wanted to talk about it behind closed doors and it got leaked. Then they asked and he started defending himself because the NFL didnt keep it confidential. I have no idea how loud it was on the field but Myles and Mason were face to face. A lot of things could have been said. Myles has more to lose by holding course to this than Mason does. For someone to keep their ground on it. Every hates the idea of someone using the race card and Myles understands that smacking Mason on the head was wrong with a helmet. He was asked a question and he answered to what he heard. We will never know what happened fully because the NFL will protect itself before they will protect their players.

  8. @3xapple it’s not a criminal trial, it would be civil, where the burden of proof is a lot easier to achieve. It’s no slam dunk, but I think Rudolph should do it. Guy hits him over the head with a helmet then tried destroying his future with claims of racism, he should face the consequences.

  9. If there’s no audio proving he said it there’s certainly no audio proving he didn’t, lawsuit would be pointless

  10. ESPN didn’t want to make it about race.
    That’s why they did the interview and then had a panel discussion.
    They’re still talking about it.
    But it’s not racial.

  11. Mason was going crazy at that point. I doubt he even has an idea of what he was saying.

    Him trying to say he will sue just proves to me that he probably said it. He is protesting too much.

  12. Garrett’s claim that Rudolph said it before they both even hit the ground makes no sense. Rudolph wouldn’t have any cause to be angry and lash out yet at that point. It’s clear what Garrett is doing: playing the race card to make himself the victim of the assault of Rudolph. It’s disgusting but he’ll have plenty of woke-crowd sympathizers.

    Rudolph has no choice but to sue this guy now.

  13. Rudolph should sue. He has a great case. Garrett used the race card to justify his unjustifiable actions. Garrett lied and he should have to pay for that.

    The whole episode just proves what a low character person Garrett is. His defenders aren’t much better.

  14. “Garrett’s claim that Rudolph said it before they both even hit the ground makes no sense.”

    Thought exactly the same thing. That would be like a batter cursing at the pitcher as the fastball is bearing down on his head before he gets hit.

  15. Him trying to say he will sue just proves to me that he probably said it. He is protesting too much.
    Perhaps he’s protesting because the guy who hit him over the head with his own helmet then tried to paint him as a racist to try and get a lesser punishment. You wouldn’t protest that??? Ridiculous

  16. Why would Myles lie?
    Umm, because he was suspended indefinitely. Critical thinking folks….try it. MG gave an interview from his locker just after the game and gave no indication that anything was said. He played that card behind closed doors hoping it wouldn’t come out. He said as much.

  17. Clearly many people don’t know how slander laws work. If you claim someone said something reprehensible that ruins their reputation … the burden in on YOU to prove it. Not them. There’s no ‘his word against mine’. Garrett made the allegation … it’s up to him to prove it or face consequences if he can’t.

  18. “peytonwantsaflag says:
    If there’s no audio proving he said it there’s certainly no audio proving he didn’t, lawsuit would be pointless”

    Both civil and criminal lawsuits and trials have been decided for hundreds of years before the advent of the audio and video evidence afforded some cases now.

    If no other players, from either team, and the refs, all say they didn’t hear anything, and if Garrett was visibly fine after the game, not saying Mason called him a racial epithet, IMO Mason almost certainly didn’t say anything inappropriate. This is called slander, and Mason should sue. On principle alone. For the sake of his ‘good name,’ as they say.

  19. Clearly Myles deserves his “Burfictian” reputation.

    His response to being fined for a dirty hit earlier last season was basically “I’ll play the game the way I want and the NFL won’t stop me.”

    Garrett has not yet acknowledged that his takedown of Rudolph, which was itself an illegal play for which he was fined by the NFL, was anything other than proper, further evidence that he thinks the game should be played by his rules instead of the NFL’s.

    Players like Burfict and Garrett who flat out refuse to play by the NFL’s rules should not be playing in the NFL.

    We can only hope that they both have earned an eagle eyed focus on their play by the refs and immediate suspensions from the NFL for any further violations, the safety of the other NFL players is more important than the careers of players who can’t, or won’t, control their own behavior.

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