In his first interview since being reinstated from an indefinite suspension, Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett continued to insist his actions during a Thursday night brawl in November were prompted by Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph using a racial slur toward him.
"He called me the N-word. He called me a 'stupid N-word,'" Garrett said to ESPN's Mina Kimes.
Minutes after the full interview aired Saturday morning, Rudolph took to Twitter to dispute the claim.
Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin also issued a statement in defense of his quarterback.
"I support Mason Rudolph, not only because I know him, but also because I was on that field immediately following the altercation with Myles Garrett, and subsequently after the game," Tomlin said.
"I interacted with a lot of people in the Cleveland Browns organization - players and coaches," he continued. "If Mason said what Myles claimed, it would have come out during the many interactions I had with those in the Browns organization. In my conversations, I had a lot of expressions of sorrow for what transpired. I received no indication of anything racial or anything of that nature in those interactions."
Rudolph's representation said Garrett is "now exposed to legal liability" due to his comments.
Garrett's full interview can be seen below.