CLEVELAND (WJW) — Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett is claiming again that Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph called him a racial slur before their on-field brawl last November.
"He called me the N-word," Garrett told ESPN in an interview that aired Thursday night on SportsCenter. "He called me a 'stupid N-word.'"
Garrett was suspended indefinitely following the brawl when the Browns hosted the Steelers on Nov. 14. In the final few seconds of the game, Garrett hit Pittsburgh quarterback Mason Rudolph in the head with his own helmet.
"When he said it, it kind of sparked something, but I still tried to let it go and still walk away," Garrett told ESPN. "But once he came back, it kind of reignited the situation. And not only have you escalated things past what they needed to be with such little time in the game left, now you're trying to reengage and start a fight again. It's definitely not entirely his fault; it's definitely both parties doing something that we shouldn't have been doing...I don't say the N-word, whether it's with 'a' [or] 'er.' To me personally, just shouldn't be said, and whether it's by family, friends, anyone. I don't want to use it because I don't want [people to] find that appropriate around me for anyone to use."
Rudolph denies the report of using a racial slur during the incident.
The NFL reportedly looked into the allegations that Rudolph used a racial epithet and "found no such evidence."
On Wednesday, Garrett was reinstated, meaning he can participate in all of the Browns' offseason activities. His suspension is the longest suspension for a single on-field incident in league history.
This is not the first time Garrett has accused Rudolph of using a racial slur. He initially voiced these accusations during his appeal hearing last year.
"I know what I heard. Whether my opponent's comment was born out of frustration or ignorance, I cannot say. But his actions do not excuse my lack of restraint in the moment, and I truly regret the impact this has had on the league, the Browns and our devoted fans," Garrett said in a statement in November.
**Watch our interview with Myles Garrett from November in the video, above**