Browns defensive end Myles Garrett wishes he handled things differently after he was reinstated by the NFL.
Following an incident in November in which Garrett bashed Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph in the head with a helmet during a game, the former first-overall pick was suspended indefinitely. He was officially reinstated on Feb. 12.
Garrett immediately agreed to an interview with ESPN following his reinstatement, but didn’t inform the Browns that he was doing so. The interview ended up drawing heavy scrutiny as Garrett stood by his initial claim that he was provoked by Rudolph’s use of a racial slur.
“I dropped the ball there,” Garrett told The Athletic recently in Tanzania, where he’s participating in a mission for Waterboys, an athlete initiative to provide clean drinking water to communities in need. “I should have told the Browns before I did it. It sprung up in my lap and I thought it was a good chance to talk about Waterboys. I knew they would bring up the incident. I would have my say on it and move on to the next topic.”
Garrett added that his father, Lawrence, told him he “should have saved that for your autobiography.”
“[My father] was right,” Garrett said. “Have your say some other day. That’s the best way to put it. Got to be smart with what you say and when you say it.”
The on-field incident blew up after ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted “assault,” sparking speculation that Garrett could face criminal charges for his actions. No legal actions were taken, and Garrett vehemently stood by his accusation that Rudolph incited the violence with a racial slur.
However, Garrett told The Athletic that he plans on ignoring any further questions about the incident.
“I’ll either say ‘next question’ or ignore it because we have talked enough about it and given it so much energy and time,” Garrett said. “We’ve got other things to worry about.”
After Garrett’s ESPN interview, Rudolph tweeted, “1000% False. Bold-Faced Lie. I did not, have not, and would not utter a racial-slur. This is a disgusting and reckless attempt to assassinate my character.”