During appeal hearing, Myles Garrett accuses Mason Rudolph of using racial slur prior to brawl

Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph called Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett a racial slur moments before their brawl at the end of a "Thursday Night Football" game, Garrett said during an appeal hearing Wednesday, ESPN reported.

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Rudolph said he did nothing to provoke Garrett, ESPN reported.

"Mason vehemently denies the report of being accused of using a racial slur during the incident Thursday night in Cleveland," Steelers spokesman Burt Lauten said in a statement, ESPN reported. "He will not discuss this accusation any further and his focus remains on preparation for Sunday's game against the Cincinnati Bengals."

Rudolph’s attorney, Timothy M. Younger, denied the allegation.

"According to ESPN, in his appeal, Myles Garrett falsely asserted that Mason Rudolph uttered a racial slur toward him, prior to swinging a helmet at Mason's uncovered head, in a desperate attempt to mitigate his suspension. This is a lie,” Younger told ESPN. “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.

"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."

Garrett was suspended indefinitely Friday.

Rudolph has not been punished but is expected to have to pay a fine over the incident.

Two other players were reprimanded for their roles in the incident. Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey was suspended for three games but appealed and his suspension was reduced to two games on Thursday, WPXI reported. Cleveland defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi was suspended for one game.

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