Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett’s decision to hit Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph with his own helmet is indefensible regardless of what he heard, Hall of Fame coach Tony Dungy said Friday.
Garrett reportedly accused Rudolph of using a racial slur against him prior to the brawl as he was making his case for a reduced suspension from the league at his appeal hearing Wednesday. However, Dungy told “PFT Live” that he has no sympathy for Garrett and that the defensive lineman should be judged for how he reacted.
“I’m sorry, I don’t have sympathy with Myles Garrett if, in fact. that is what happened,” Dungy said. “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. But you can’t go off because somebody said something to you.”
“All kinds of things get said out there on the field," the Super Bowl-winning head coach added. "There’s four-letter words. In this case, it may have been a six-letter word, a multi-syllable word. All of that happens. 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.”
Dungy said if he were in Garrett’s shoes, he would have addressed the alleged remark with the player after the game instead of going berserk and getting suspended for the rest of the season.
Garrett, whose suspension was upheld, said in a statement afterward that he knew what he heard in regards to Rudolph’s alleged remark.
Rudolph has denied the allegation.