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The View Beyond Pluto: Garrett's ESPN Interview Shouldn't Have Happened

Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett during his ESPN interview.
Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett during his ESPN interview.

The NFL has lifted Cleveland Browns defensive end Myles Garrett's suspension, but he remains in the spotlight following the ugly brawl with Pittsburgh Steelers quaterback Mason Rudolph last November. Our sports commentator Terry Pluto says Garrett's recent ESPN interview didn't help to take the focus away from the helmet-swinging incident. 

The interview

After being reinstated, Garrett went on the record defending himself in the altercation. In November, Garrett ripped Rudolph's helmet off with eight seconds left in the game and swung it at his head, claiming Rudolph said a racial slur. 

Because of his actions, the NFL initially suspended Garrett for six months. Now that he's back, Pluto says the ESPN interview shouldn't have happened, especially when he started claiming that the NFL was involved in a cover-up. 

"I think a lot of us, even when we mess up, we have a compulsion to try and explain whatever it is we did. You know, one of my things as I've gotten older is even if I'm only responsible for 50% of what went wrong, just apologize for it and let it go," Pluto says. 

Pluto says it's odd for a player to do their own interview when something like this happens — especially when nobody knows exactly what happened. Usually it's a team press conference, and they address the issue and then they move on.

In the interview, Garrett basically said he didn't regret what he did because of the alleged slur, which Rudolph said was a lie in a tweet last week. 

"My guess is somebody in Myles' camp was contacted by ESPN (and said) this is a chance to (show that) Myles is very bright ... (It's a chance) for him to explain his side and for people to see the real Myles," Pluto said. 

Why not start fresh?

Pluto says Garrett should be putting his focus back onto the field. 

"We're starting fresh. They're starting fresh. I'm starting fresh — we're all starting fresh," Pluto said. "I don't know what was said on the field. I do know that Myles heard something that really offended him."

With Rudolph's lawyer considering a defamation lawsuit, Pluto says it's time to move on and gear up for the next season.

"The best thing to do after that is just serve your suspension, get back on the field and go back to continuing to do the good work that you're doing. Like right now, he's in Africa with this project where the NFL players and others are bringing water to villages in need. I mean, this is going back to being Myles is really what (he needs) to do."

Pluto's advice: Both parties need to stop and let it go for the sake of themselves and their teams. 

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Amanda Rabinowitz
Amanda Rabinowitz has been a reporter, host and producer at WKSU since 2007. Her days begin before the sun comes up as the local anchor for NPR’s Morning Edition, which airs on WKSU each weekday from 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. In addition to providing local news and weather, she interviews the Plain Dealer’s Terry Pluto for a weekly commentary about Northeast Ohio’s sports scene.