The highly controversial and tense Pittsburgh Steelers vs Cleveland Browns game on November 14th has become the game that launched a thousand fines. The NFL has already fine 29 players from both teams and “disciplined” a further 4, with the fines coming to a whopping $732,422 total.
But the penalties for the brawl that broke out just seconds before the game ended will carry on for quite some time, with record-long suspensions having been issued that will result in changes to the teams themselves.
After Garrett unsurprisingly took the biggest blow – with an indefinite suspension and a fine of $45,623 for ripping off Mason Rudolph’s helmet and hitting the Steelers quarterback in the head with it, on top of the $1.2 million he’s getting ready to lose for missing the rest of the season – many were shocked at the fines against so many other players, who “entered the fight arena” and got involved to varying degrees, that quickly started rolling out.
Although Rudolph himself was not suspended, he was slapped with the biggest fine of all: $50,000– more than an entire game check. But his role in the fight is still being hotly debated by those who saw the fight.
What was easy to see during the game was Rudolph and Garrett wrestling each other on the ground until Garrett ripped the fellow player’s helmet right off. After that, Rudolph could be seen charging after Garrett in what many people wrote off as self-defense, or more realistically, a defensive outburst. But sources told ESPN that Garrett made another concerning claim during his appeal hearing with the NFL, insisting that the whole brawl was the result of Rudolph making a racist comment. Rudolph has vehemently denied this claim, with the NFL backing him up after finding “no such evidence” to support it.
Rudolph gave his prepared statement on Wednesday, which said: “For my involvement last week, there’s no acceptable excuse. The bottom line is I should’ve done a better job keeping my composure in that situation and [not] fall short of what I believe it means to be a Pittsburgh Steeler and a member of the NFL.”
On top of the individual players’ fines, both the Browns and Steelers franchises were fined $250,000 each. But despite the hefty costs, the Browns will travel to Pittsburgh on Dec. 1 for the rematch.