The football world stopped and took notice on November 14 when a brawl near the end of the game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cleveland Browns broke out. At the center of the controversy was Browns’ defensive end Myles Garrett removing quarterback Mason Rudolph’s helmet as they grappled. Garrett succeeded and then used the helmet as a weapon, hitting the quarterback in the head with the helmet. Garrett was suspended indefinitely after the game, missing the final six games of the season and fined $50,000.
Garrett (who is black) initially claimed that Rudolph (who is white) called him a racial slur. Rudolph denied the accusation and the NFL found no evidence during its investigation to support Garret’s story. Garrett had already been heavily fined for two roughing the passer infractions (one of which ended the season of the Jets’ quarterback) and other altercations.
Nevertheless, Garrett met with NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell, and other officials on February 9 in New York to resolve the matter. The timing of the meeting enables Garrett to be eligible to participate in spring workouts and play in the upcoming season. Garrett’s appeal of his fine was denied, but the NFL provided no additional information regarding its thinking in reinstating the lineman.
The Browns, on the other hand, released a statement:
“We welcome Myles back to our organization with open arms,” said Browns EVP of Football Operations and General Manager Andrew Berry. “We know he is grateful to be reinstated, eager to put the past behind him and continue to evolve and grow as a leader. We look forward to having his strong positive presence back as a teammate, player and person in our community.”