The NFL said it found "no such evidence" Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph used a racial slur before being hit with his helmet by Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett last week. One of the major reasons for the league's lack of evidence is because it reportedly has no audio from the incident.
Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com wrote the league used the referee's official report, which did not say Rudolph directed a slur toward Garrett, and available camera angles for its ruling.
The NFL upheld Garrett's indefinite suspension Thursday, meaning he will miss at least the remainder of the 2019 season and postseason. He released a statement on Twitter saying, "I know what I heard."
“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. “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."
Rudolph has denied all allegations of him using a racial slur. His attorney, Timothy M. Younger, released a statement calling the allegations "malicious" and "unfounded."
"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 said. "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. This is reckless and shameful. We will have no further comment."
Rudolph was not suspended for his part in the brawl.