NFL finds no evidence to support Myles Garrett's appeals claim that Mason Rudolph used racial slur

Less than one week after being hit with an indefinite suspension, Myles Garrett was in New York on Wednesday to appeal the punishment that was handed down by the NFL following the wild brawl that took place between the Steelers and Browns back on Nov. 14. 

During the fight, Garrett tore off the helmet of Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph and then proceeded to hit him over the head with it. Garrett was hoping to get his suspension reduced and he did that by claiming that Rudolph provoked him before the fight by using a racial slur, according to ESPN.com

Garrett's appeal ended up getting shot down after the NFL found no evidence that Rudolph had used a racial slur. Later on Thursday night, Garrett released a statement on Twitter assuring that he heard Rudolph use inappropriate language.

"I was assured that the hearing was space that afforded the opportunity to speak openly and honestly about the incident that led to my suspension. This was not meant for public dissemination, nor was it a convenient attempt to justify my actions or restore my image in the eyes of those I disappointed.

"I know what I heard. Whether my opponent's comment was born out of frustration or ignorance, I cannot say. But his actions do not excuse my lack of restraint in the moment, and I truly regret the impact this has had on the league, the Browns and our devoted fans."

Before Wednesday, Garrett gave no indication that Rudolph has used a racial slur. As a matter fact, in a statement that was released on Nov. 15, Garrett actually apologized to Rudolph for the helmet swing. 

"I made a terrible mistake," Garrett wrote. "I lost my cool and what I did was selfish and unacceptable. I know that we are all responsible for our actions and I can only prove my true character through my actions moving forward.  I want to apologize to Mason Rudolph, my teammates, our entire organization, our fans and to the NFL. I know I have to be accountable for what happened, learn from my mistake and I fully intend to do so."

Shortly after Garrett made the claims of a racial slur, Rudolph's attorney Timothy M. Younger vehemently denied that the Steelers quarterback used any sort of racial slur before or during the fight. 

"This is a lie," Younger told ESPN.com. "This false allegation was never asserted by Garrett in the aftermath of the game, never suggested prior to the hearing, and conspicuously absent in the apology published by the Browns and adopted by Garrett."

 Younger also said that Garrett's allegation was "reckless and shameful."

"The malicious use of this wild and unfounded allegation is an assault on Mason's integrity which is far worse than the physical assault witnessed on Thursday," Younger said. "This is reckless and shameful. We will have no further comment."

The Steelers also issued a strong denial of Garrett's allegation. 

"Mason vehemently denies the report of being accused of using a racial slur during the incident Thursday night in Cleveland," the team said in a statement. "He will not discuss this accusation any further and his focus remains on preparation for Sunday's game against the Cincinnati Bengals."

According to ESPN.com, Garrett also used one other argument during his appeal. Apparently, the Browns defensive end pointed to a suspension that was handed out in 2013 as a reason why his suspension should be reduced. Six years ago, Antonio Smith was suspended for two preseason games and one regular season game after he swung a helmet at an opponent. However, it should be noted that Smith didn't make contact on his swing. 

In the end, none of Garrett's argument worked and the Browns defensive end is now suspended for the rest of the 2019 season at a minimum. 

CBS Sports Writer

John Breech has been at CBS Sports since July 2011 and currently spends most of his time writing about the NFL. He's believed to be one of only three people in the world who thinks that Andy Dalton will... Full Bio

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