In the fallout of the ugly on-field melee between the Browns and Steelers during Thursday Night Football to kick off Week 11, Myles Garrett was public enemy No. 1. He clearly and obviously used Pittsburgh quarterback Mason Rudolph's own helmet as a weapon, swinging it at his head, earning an indefinite suspension for his troubles. He later said in his defense that Rudolph insulted him using racist language.
This week, Garrett was reinstated from his indefinite ban by the NFL. And in a new interview with ESPN's Mina Kimes, he's reiterating his insistence that Rudolph referred to him using a racial slur.
"He called me the N-word. He called me a 'stupid N-word," Garrett told Kimes in a portion of the interview that ran Thursday on ESPN.
When Garrett first made the allegation, Rudolph issued a strong denial. The NFL says it discovered no specific evidence of racist language as part of its inquiry into the Browns-Steelers fight.
"When [Rudolph] said it, it kind of sparked something, but I still tried to let it go and still walk away. But once he came back, it kind of reignited the situation," Garrett explained to Kimes. "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 re-engage 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."
The full-length interview between Garrett and Kimes is due to run on Sunday morning on ESPN.