Promptly after the NFL reinstated Browns defensive end Myles Garrett, Garrett submitted to an interview with ESPN. And we now know that his team didn’t know about the interview.
The ESPN interview sparked several days of scrutiny of Garrett’s claim that his attack on Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph was preceded by Rudolph using a racial slur. Garrett thereafter was interviewed by Tom Reed of TheAthletic.com during a trip to Africa in connection with the Waterboys program, and Garrett expressed regret for submitting to the ESPN interview without first telling the Browns he’d be doing it.
“I dropped the ball there,” Garrett told Reed. “I should have told the Browns before I did it. It sprung up in my lap and I thought it was a good chance to talk about Waterboys. I knew they would bring up the incident. I would have my say on it and move on to the next topic.”
Garrett added that his father, Lawrence, had a pointed critique of the interview: “Should have saved that for your autobiography.”
“[My father] was right,” Garrett told Reed. “Have your say some other day. That’s the best way to put it. Got to be smart with what you say and when you say it.”
Garrett now has to sweat out the possibility of civil litigation from Rudolph, who would argue that Garrett’s allegedly false claim damaged Rudolph’s reputation and, based on how the dominoes fall, limited his NFL career.
Garrett also made it clear that he’s done talking about the Rudolph situation, regardless of how aggressively he’s asked about it.
“I’ll either say ‘next question’ or ignore it because we have talked enough about it and given it so much energy and time,” Garrett told Reed. “We’ve got other things to worry about.”
Indeed we do, in plenty of ways both related and unrelated to football.