LAKEWOOD, Ohio (WJW)– Some Browns fans are uniting to support the team and Myles Garrett after the NFL denied the star player’s suspension appeal.
“Pittsburgh started it” T-shirts went on sale Friday at GV Art and Design in Lakewood. They were flying off store shelves with thousands sold so far, including as gag gifts for some Pittsburgh fans.
This week, Garrett lost an appeal of his indefinite suspension by the NFL, at least through the end of the season, for hitting Pittsburgh quarterback Mason Rudolph with Rudolph’s helmet during a game on Nov.r 14.
Browns fans note video shows Rudolph grabbing Garrett’s helmet and then kicking him in the groin. Rudolph was not suspended.
“Pittsburgh started it, and, even if it was Cleveland’s fault, I’m still supporting Cleveland,” said Browns fan Rachel Huseman, who purchased a shirt. “This is so unfair. I feel like Pittsburgh is not getting any of the backlash we are.”
GV Art and Design owner Greg Vlosich said the store designed the shirt within a day of the game, but waited until tempers cooled to release it.
“We don’t really condone what he did and he took it a little too far,” Vlosich said. “At the same time, just hearing Pittsburgh, it seemed like they made themselves out to be so innocent, like they had nothing to do with it and that’s kind of what made us put something together to just kind of show our support for our guys and our city.”
Vlosich said the store received hundreds of calls after it revealed the t-shirt Wednesday.
“Reaction’s been just crazy,” he said. “Thursday my Twitter was filled with Pittsburgh people who hated it, which means you’re doing something right.”
Sales of Garrett jerseys have also been picking up at the Browns Pro Shop.