Brawl between Browns and Steelers sparks controversy

On Nov. 14, the Steelers and Browns game ended in absolute mayhem. There was a huge brawl that ended with players from both teams being ejected, and eventually three players were suspended or fined. 

With only five seconds left on the clock, the Browns defensive end Myles Garret ripped the helmet off of Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph at the end of the play. Following this, there was a bench-clearing fight where players were punched and kicked in the head.

The question that has people talking is who started this fight, and is Myles Garret the only player in the wrong here?

“Myles Garret and Mason Rudolph are both in the wrong” said sophomore Matt Smith. “Firstly, Mason Rudolph shouldn’t have tried to rip Myles Garret’s helmet off. I mean, he is a lot bigger and meaner than Rudolph, but Garret shouldn’t have hit him in the head with his helmet. These guys are playing on the biggest platform you can perform in, and as an athlete myself it seems like both of them would be embarrassed for their behavior.”

Based on replays of the situation, you can see that Mason Rudolph was initially the first player to engage, as he attempted to rip Myles Garret’s helmet off before Garret hits him with his helmet.

“Myles Garret was definitely in the wrong and should not have hit Mason Rudolph in the head with his helmet,” remarked senior Ty Hicks. “However, Mason Rudolph played a big part in it. For one, he started the fight by trying to take Myles Garret’s helmet. After the teammates pulled them apart, Mason Rudolph still tried to come after him, which led to (Garret) hitting Rudolph in the head with his helmet.”

Therefore it could be said that both players are in the wrong and made themselves and the teams they represent look bad.

A topic of discussion after the fight became whether Mason Rudolph directed a racial slur at Myles Garrett before the now-infamous helmet swing. Garret alleged that Rudolph had done so in the game when he was in his appeal hearing for his suspension.

“Well, I have read articles that have said both Myles Garret and Mason Rudolph were yelling inappropriate slurs at one another,” Guilford student Joey Hegeman said. “But I still think it was unacceptable that Myles Garret hit Mason Rudolph in the head with his helmet. I mean the Browns where already up by two touchdowns, so given that, I think that Garret was probably angry as it is.”

The most recent development has been that Browns defensive linemen Larry Ogunjobi affirmed that Garrett told him about the racial slur directly following the Nov. 14 game. Ogunjobi is the first Browns player to come forward and confirm this account, as the claim had been largely written off since it came out a week later in his appeal.

The teams met again Dec. 1, without Garrett on the field. The Steelers prevailed 20-13, although Rudolph did not see the field during the win.

Garrett will be serving his suspension through the end of the year, with a reevaluation in the off-season. Rudolph was fined $50,000 for his role in the incident.