Before the decision was made, Garrett had flown to New York this week in hopes of getting his suspension reduced by arguing his case in front of an NFL appeals officer. During an appeal hearing that went down on Wednesday, the Browns defensive end said the he was provoked into hitting Mason Rudolph with a helmet because the Steelers quarterback used a racial slur on him.
Although the NFL found an interview with "PFT Live" on Friday, Tony Dungy explained why he has no sympathy for Garrett, even if a racial slur was used on the field., at least one former NFL coach doesn't think it should matter whether or not Rudolph used any inappropriate language. During
"I'm sorry, I don't have sympathy with Myles Garrett if in fact that is what happened," Dungy said of the slur possibly being used.
According to Dungy, Garrett's outburst would have made sense if he was reacting to physical harm -- such as a knee to the crotch -- but the Hall of Fame coach feels that the outburst was uncalled for if it happened over a word.
"If we're in the bottom of the pile and Mason Rudolph is kneeing you in the groin or he's trying to poke your eye out or he's twisting your knee, something that's going to affect your ability to do your work and your career, then, yeah, you can go off," Dungy said. "But you can't go off because somebody said something to you. All kinds of things get said out there on the field."
It's interesting that Dungy mentioned being kneed in the groin, because there was a belief based on video that Rudolph might have kneed Garrett in the crotch in the moments before the fight. However, if that did happen, it doesn't seem that Garrett brought it up during his appeal. Instead, Garrett focused on the racial slur, which Dungy definitely wouldn't have encouraged him to do.
"There's four-letter words, in this case it may have been a six-letter word, a multi-syllable word, all of that happens," Dungy said. "I can't go off and jeopardize my team's chances to go to the playoffs, my career, my ability to make money because somebody called me a name. I don't care what name he said, that is not an excuse to me."
For the most part, it sounds like Dungy, who was known for keeping his cool during his 13-year head coaching career, which included one Super Bowl win, agrees with Garrett's punishment.
As for Garrett, he continues to insist that Rudolph did use a racial slur, even though the NFL found no evidence that it happened.
"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," Garrett said in a statement Thursday. "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."
No matter what happened, Garrett won't be returning to the field this year and since his suspension is indefinite, he'll have to meet with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after the season to review his case to prove that he should be reinstated for the start of the 2020 season.