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Steelers' Tomlin, Rudolph respond to Garrett's claim

Two days after a Myles Garrett interview aired reiterating Mason Rudolph used a racial slur toward him, the Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback and his head coach spoke out against the allegation.

"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," Rudolph tweeted Saturday morning.

The social media post includes a link to Garrett's interview on ESPN's Outside The Lines, which includes the Cleveland Brownsdefensive end alleging Rudolph "called me the N-word. He called me a 'stupid N-word.'"

Shortly before Rudolph's tweet, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin released a statement.

"I support Mason Rudolph not only because I know him, but also because I was on the field immediately following the altercation with Myles Garrett, and subsequently after the game," the statement read. "I interacted with a lot of people in the Cleveland Browns organization -- players and coaches. If Mason said what Myles claimed, it would have come out during the many interactions I had with those in the Browns' organization. In my conversations, I had a lot of expressions of sorrow for what transpired. I received no indication of anything racial or anything of that nature in those interactions."

Garrett initially accused Rudolph of using the slur while appealing his indefinite suspension for striking the QB in the head with his own helmet during a Week 11 brawl. The NFL, which reinstated Garrett earlier this week, reiterated Saturday it did not find evidence to support Garrett's claim.

"As we said at the time the allegation was made, we looked into the matter and found no such evidence," the league said in a statement.

"There was no sound recorded from the field during that game. As with every game, there were microphones on the center or interior linemen that help amplify the ambient sound as the quarterbacks were calling signals at the line of scrimmage. But they do not record sound. Microphones are opened from the break of the huddle (or when the center places his hand on the ball in a no-huddle offense) through the snap of the ball. They are turned off at that point.

"We checked with the officiating crew, including the ref who was on top of the play and the ensuing aftermath. No player on either team came forward to say they heard him say it on the field. There was also no indication of any players saying they heard him say it in their postgame comments."

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