Browns, Freddie Kitchens address his decision to wear 'Pittsburgh Started It' shirt ahead of rematch
Kitchens said the shirt was a gift from his daughters
The pregame hype surrounding the second Browns-Steelers matchup of 2019 has been centered around T-shirts. Browns receiver Jarvis Landry was spotted wearing a "revenge" shirt as he entered Heinz Field Sunday morning. Several Steelers players were seen wearing "Free Pouncey" shirts in reference to the fight that took place between the two teams back in Week 11.
Two days earlier, Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens was spotted wearing a Myles Garrett -- who has been suspended indefinitely for his role in the fight -- accusing Pittsburgh quarterback Mason Rudolph of using a racial slur during the fight., another reference to the fight that led to three player suspensions and 33 player fines. The fight also included
The Browns, in a statement issued to NFL Network's Aditi Kinkhabwala, said that the shirt was a birthday present to Kitchens from his daughters. Kitchens, who celebrated his 45th birthday on Friday, wore the shirt to the movies Friday night.
"Kitchens did not intend for anyone to see it and realizes it's not a good look," wrote NFL.com's Grant Gordon.
Earlier in the day on Friday, Kitchens told Kinkhabwala that the Browns had put the Week 11 fight "to bed" ahead of Sunday's rematch against the Steelers. The same can't be said about the Steelers, based on their decision to wear shirts in support of Pouncey on Sunday morning. Sunday will be the second of two games Pouncey will miss after getting his three-game suspension reduced to two games during his appeal.
Kitchens, prior to Sunday's game against the Steelers, was asked by the media how his team will control its emotions.
"It's easy. It's either you or the team," said Kitchens, whose is trying to sweep the Steelers for the first time since 1988. "Make a decision."
"Composure's always a key, especially when you play divisional games," Kitchens continued. "We hold divisional games at a high standard around here because they mean just a little bit more from the standpoint of how your season's affected. Emotion is always a part of the game. As I've said this before, it's the ability to keep your emotion in check and play with composure and passion instead of the emotion."
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