A day after he was reinstated by the NFL, the Browns defensive end appeared on Outside the Lines to discuss the Nov. 14 on-field brawl that resulted in his suspension. The altercation went down toward the end of the fourth quarter in Cleveland's 21-7 victory over Pittsburgh. Video showed Garrett ripping off Rudolph's helmet and then using it to strike the QB over the head. Moments later, other players got involved, leading to various scuffles on the field.
Garrett was ultimately banned from the final six games of the regular season—a punishment that reportedly cost him $1.2 million in salary and a fine of $45,623. Garrett later claim that he hit Rudolph after the QB called him a racial slur; however, the NFL determined there was "no such evidence" to support the allegation.
"He called me the N-word. He called me a 'stupid N-word,'" Garrett told Mina Kimes, as reported by ESPN. "I know what I heard."
Garrett then recalled the events leading up to the physical altercation, admitting that it wasn't entirely Rudolph's fault.
"When he said it, it kind of sparked something, but I still tried to let it go and still walk away. But once he came back, it kind of reignited the situation," Garrett said. "And not only have you escalated things past what they needed to be with such little time in the game left, now you're trying to re-engage and start a fight again. It's definitely not entirely his fault, it's definitely both parties doing something that we shouldn't have been doing.
"I don't say the N-word, whether it's with 'a' [or] 'er.' To me personally, just shouldn't be said, and whether it's by family, friends, anyone. I don't want to use it because I don't want [people to] find that appropriate around me for anyone to use."
Rudolph has denied Garrett's claims, which he called "totally untrue."
"I couldn't believe it," the QB said Nov. 24. "I couldn't believe he would go that route after the fact."