Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin wants everyone to know that he believes the claims against quarterback Mason Rudolph are ridiculous. Rudolph has been accused of calling Cleveland Browns defensive player Myles Garrett a racial slur. Tomlin also wants to be clear that rumors his team somehow had something to do with burying the evidence that would prove Garrett right are laughable.
Tomlin made an appearance on ESPN’s First Take on Monday morning in the wake of renewed and repeated allegations against the Steelers signal-caller. Pittsburgh beat reporter Brooke Pryor did a live tweet session as the coach was being interviewed and shared several nuggets on Twitter.
Among the most noteworthy of his comments concerned why he was talking about the issue at all. Tomlin said he and his team had tried to just move on, but when Garrett gave another interview after being reinstated by the NFL, the head coach felt like he had to respond. In that interview, the Cleveland Browns star once again claimed he lost his cool in part because Rudolph called him a racial slur.
While Tomlin was again denying his quarterback did anything of the sort, he also talked about the backlash Rudolph has received without any proof of the allegations.
“It’s been a lot of negativity around Mason Rudolph. He got fined $50k for essentially getting beat up. His reputation was tarnished for the allegations…he was an active participant in the altercation, a lot of the things that have gone on beyond that, I struggle with.”
Despite being angry about what has happened to the Steelers quarterback, Tomlin also wanted to make sure he didn’t seem to be attacking Myles Garrett. Pryor tweeted out Tomlin wanted to be clear his comments are about defending his player, not going on the offensive against another.
Since the accusation first surfaced, Rudolph has steadfastly denied he did what was claimed. The NFL has long said it could find no evidence to support Garrett’s claims, though the Browns defensive end has continued to state he heard what he did. Garrett’s insistence has led some to believe there might be a cover-up and that the audio that could prove the Browns player right has been buried.
Tomlin addressed those claims as well, calling the idea he and the Steelers would be involved in such a plot laughable. Beyond that, he reiterated he believes his quarterback never said anything that could be construed as racist. The head coach also seemed a bit perplexed Garrett maintains his claim, even after being allowed to return to the Browns.