Note: While I’ve been paying some attention to this story, I have not done the kind of thorough research I’d like to do. I’m procrastinating on two papers in order to do this, though. So please forgive me.
In case you haven’t been following the story, here it is in an all-too-small nutshell: During an altercation at the end of a game, Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett took off the helmet of Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph and swung the helmet at Rudolph’s head. Garrett has been suspended indefinitely, Garrett said that during the altercation, Rudolph used a racial slur.
There has been an avalanche of takes about the incident, about the penalties, and lately about Garrett’s accusation. Rudolph issued some kind of denial, and I’ve heard a lot of skepticism about the allegation. Personally, I believe Myles Garrett. In fact, one of my first thoughts about the incident was that Rudolph probably dropped an N-bomb.
That being said, I still think Garrett was appropriately suspended. Myles Garrett himself has taken ownership of his actions and accepted that he has to be punished for his actions. Mason Rudolph was not punished (even though he did clearly attempt to rip Garrett’s helmet off at the beginning of their altercation). On the day of Garrett’s appeal, Rudolph apologized for his part, admitting he acted inappropriately. I took that as a sly admission that he had used a racial slur, although he denied that after it was fully reported. Garrett has said he did not want that accusation to become public.
One of these days I’ll get around to my gaslighting project. As I noted at the beginning, I haven’t done enough research as I’d like, and I haven’t paid the closest attention. Still, the things I’ve seen surrounding that racial slur allegation has got my Spidey-gaslighting sense tingling. I don’t think Myles Garrett was justified in his actions, but I do believe he’s telling the truth.
I used to work with violent offenders, and much of my work was centered around trying to get them to take accountability for their bad deeds. Myles Garrett acted terribly but has since done exactly what I always tried to teach my clients to do. Mason Rudolph started down that path, and I wish he would follow it through completely.
Note: After I posted this, I saw a report that Mason Rudolph was fined $50,000 for his part in the incident.