Steelers' Tomlin fully supports Rudolph amid accusation of using racial slur

Arun Srinivasan

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin continues to defend Mason Rudolph against accusations levied by Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett, stating that the quarterback used a racial slur during a Nov. 14 game.

Garrett swung a helmet at Rudolph, who was unprotected at the time, leading to an indefinite suspension, and has since been reinstated by the NFL.

After his reinstatement, Garrett participated in an interview with ESPN’s Outside The Lines, where he alleged Rudolph used a racial slur against him during the Nov. 14 game, which led to him swinging his helmet at the quarterback.

Tomlin believes that ESPN, among other outlets, have presented Garrett’s accusation as an absolute truth and he stood up for Rudolph for the second time this week.

“Even to this day, it was presented as a he-said, he-said situation, and I think the National Football League office was very clear that they launched an investigation. … They found no evidence of Myles’ allegations, and I think that should be stated,” Tomlin said Monday on ESPN’s First Take.

“I fully support Mason Rudolph, we as an organization fully support Mason Rudolph and to be quite honest with you, we were hacked off with what we saw this weekend.”

Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin continues to defend quarterback Mason Rudolph against accusations of using a racial slur. (Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

Tomlin believes that Rudolph’s character is being destroyed by what he believes to be a false accusation.

“These accusations are serious, not only in terms of Mason Rudolph’s character, but his professional pursuits,” Tomlin said. “Nobody on that field, as a member of the Cleveland Browns or the Pittsburgh Steelers, corroborated what was said by Myles Garrett. … At no point during that piece this weekend [on ESPN] was that stated.”

Tomlin released the following statement in support of Rudolph on Saturday.

“I support Mason Rudolph not only because I know him, but also because I was on that field immediately following the altercation with Myles Garrett, and subsequently after the game. I interacted with a lot of people in the Cleveland Browns organization — players and coaches. If Mason said what Myles claimed, it would have come out during the many interactions I had with those in the Browns’ organization. In my conversations, I had a lot of expressions of sorrow for what transpired. I received no indication of anything racial or anything of that nature in those interactions.”

One of the NFL’s ugliest moments of the season continues to live on, and there doesn’t appear to be a resolution to this dispute coming anytime soon.

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