Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin has broken his silence and voiced support for quarterback Mason Rudolph amid new allegations that he used a racial slur directed at Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett.
“I support Mason Rudolph not only because I know him, but also because I was on the field immediately following the altercation with Myles Garrett,” Tomlin said in a statement released by the team Saturday morning.
— Burt Lauten (@SteelersPRBurt) February 15, 2020
Tomlin went on to say that in his many conversations with members of the Browns organizations, he “received no indication of anything racial or anything of that nature in those interactions.”
Tomlin’s statement comes just days after Garrett doubled down on his accusation that Rudolph directed a racial slur at him at the end of the teams’ November 14th meeting in Cleveland.
“He called me the N-word,” Garrett told ESPN’s Mina Kimes during an interview for Outside The Lines. “He called me a ‘stupid N-word‘.”
Garrett first accused Rudolph of using the slur while appealing his indefinite suspension by the NFL. The suspension was upheld for the remainder of the 2019 season, with Garrett being officially reinstated by the league last Wednesday.
The saga began at the tail end of the Steelers’ 21-7 loss to the Browns at First Energy Stadium, when Garrett ripped off Rudolph’s helmet and struck him in the head with it, triggering a bench clearing brawl.
While the Steelers have been adamant about their desire to move past the situation, Tomlin’s statement shows that the organization’s patience may be wearing thin.