The Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns got into a nasty fight Thursday night at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland, Ohio.
Afterward, Browns defensive end Myles Garrett was suspended for his role, as was Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey and Browns defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi.
The incident also caused a lot of anger on the internet, but many are claiming phony outrage. Plus, some are wondering why only the Black players involved were disciplined.
The incident happened on the last play of the game with just eight seconds left in the fourth quarter and the Browns ahead 21–7, when Garrett tackled Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph after rushing him.
The two men got tangled up on the ground afterward, and Rudolph grabbed Garrett’s helmet, then seemingly tried to take it off.
In response, the 23-year-old took hold of the quarterback’s face mask, ripped off his helmet and, with the two men on their feet by now, swung it at Rudolph’s head, which landed a clean blow.
Pouncey then jumped in and began punching and kicking a now-prostrate Garrett, before a complete melee broke out in the end zone.
Garrett was asked about the fight after the game, and he chalked it up to emotions running high all during the matchup.
“I made a mistake and I lost my cool and I regret it,” he said in the locker room before the suspension came down. “It’s going to come back to hurt our team. … What I did was foolish, I shouldn’t allow myself to slip like that.”
In the ruling that came down on Friday, Garrett was suspended for the remainder of the 2019 season, as well as the postseason. And his return date won’t be determined until he sits down with the commissioner’s office.
Pouncey was suspended for three games and Ogunjobi for one because he hit Rudolph during the fracas. The Browns and Steelers were also fined $250,000 apiece.
The slew of opinions on the fight came immediately afterward, and some said Garrett was mainly defending himself and that Rudolph started everything.
“I’m a @steelers fan, but Rudolph needs to take responsibility for his part in this fight,” one person tweeted Friday. “He started it by trying to rip Garrett’s helmet off while on the ground.”
“The level of fake outrage that’s on display here is astounding,” wrote someone else. “There was another school shooting yesterday in Cali. *crickets.*”
Others questioned why Rudolph didn’t receive a suspension or even a fine for his role.
“Mason Rudolph started the entire thing, AND continued towards Garrett to provoke him, yet he gets nothing?” asked one Twitter user.
“What a joke,” someone else followed. “Classic NFL protect the QB at all costs. Initiator gets off scotch free. This is classic Mommy/Daddy punishment. Always get the 2nd guy, never the root of the problem.”