Suspended Garrett in ‘shameful’ race claim against Rudolph

Cleveland Browns’ Myles Garrett pulls off Pittsburgh Steelers’ Mason Rudolph’s helmet and strikes him with it. (AFP)
Updated 22 November 2019

Suspended Garrett in ‘shameful’ race claim against Rudolph

  • Garrett made the claim — strongly denied by representatives for Rudolph and the Steelers — during an NFL appeal against his record suspension
  • Garrett was banned for at least the remainder of the season after ripping off Rudolph’s helmet during an on-pitch brawl and hitting the Steelers quarterback in the head with it

LOS ANGELES: Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett claimed Pittsburgh quarterback Mason Rudolph used a racial slur against him before his wild helmet-swinging attack on the Steelers player, ESPN reported on Thursday.
Garrett made the claim — strongly denied by representatives for Rudolph and the Steelers — during an NFL appeal against his record suspension on Wednesday, ESPN reported.
Garrett was banned for at least the remainder of the season after ripping off Rudolph’s helmet during an on-pitch brawl and hitting the Steelers quarterback in the head with it.
“Mason vehemently denies the report of being accused of using a racial slur during the incident Thursday night in Cleveland,” the Steelers said in a statement.
“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 Younger said the allegation of racism by Garrett was a “desperate attempt to mitigate his suspension” and questioned why the Cleveland player had not raised it before his appeal.
“This is a lie,” Younger said in a statement. “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’s attack on Rudolph shocked the NFL and prompted league chiefs to hand the Browns player the longest ban in the history of the sport for a single on-field incident.
In a statement issued after the league’s suspension was announced last Friday, Garrett apologized to Rudolph and said his conduct had been “unacceptable.”
“I made a terrible mistake,” Garrett said. “I lost my cool and what I did was selfish and unacceptable.
“I want to apologize to Mason Rudolph, my teammates, our entire organization, our fans and to the NFL. I know I have to be accountable for what happened, learn from my mistake and I fully intend to do so.”


Record-breaking Lukaku propelling Inter’s European dream

Updated 12 August 2020

Record-breaking Lukaku propelling Inter’s European dream

  • Inter reach their first European semifinal since 2010 when they went on to win the Champions League

MILAN: A record-breaking Romelu Lukaku is leading Inter Milan's chase for their first trophy in 9 years.

Eyebrows were raised last year when Inter shelled out a club record of around €65 million ($73 million) plus €13 million  ($15 million) in bonuses for Lukaku, who had had a disappointing final season at Manchester United.

However, Lukaku swiftly developed a scintillating partnership with Lautaro Martínez and their goals helped Inter sustain a title challenge before eventually finishing second in Serie A, a point behind Juventus.

Inter scored 81 league goals — well above the paltry 57 they managed in the previous campaign.

Lukaku scored again on Monday and set up another to help Inter beat Bayer Leverkusen 2-1 to reach the Europa League semifinals.

“Romelu has never played so well, not even in the past,” Inter coach Antonio Conte said.

The Belgian forward became the first player to find the net in nine consecutive Europa League games, surpassing the eight set by Alan Shearer for Newcastle in 2005.

Lukaku’s 31st goal of the season took him past the 30-mark for the first time in his career.

“I’ve always wanted to win, ever since I was little,” Lukaku said. “I’ve always said that I will give my all for this team.

“We’re a great team; my teammates help me a lot, otherwise I couldn’t do these things and achieve these numbers ... my teammates look for me. We’re doing well together, all of us.”

Inter reached their first European semifinal since 2010 when they went on to win the Champions League as well as Serie A and the Italian Cup to complete a historic treble.

They retained the Italian Cup the following year but have not managed to lift silverware since.

The Nerazzurri play Shakhtar Donetsk or Basel in the semifinals on Monday.

After an intense period of playing matches approximately every three days after soccer restarted following the pandemic-enforced shutdown, Conte has almost a week to prepare his players.

He will want to make sure they understand that profligacy can prove costly at this level.

Inter have often failed to kill off games in which they have  dominated, and that was again the case on Monday when they had opportunities to extend their advantage.

That allowed Leverkusen to stay in the quarterfinal despite having only two shots on target.

“We could have gone through in a more relaxed manner because, despite the fact that we never really had to dig in, the result was close,” Conte said.

“It’s difficult to be annoyed. I can only compliment the lads on their performance. As is the case after every game, we’ll analyze every situation and see where we can improve.”