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An appeals officer upheld Myles Garrett's indefinite suspension for bashing Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph over the head with his own helmet during a game last week.

Garrett attended the appeals hearing in New York City on Wednesday. He was suspended indefinitely without pay for using Rudolph's helmet "as a weapon." He was also fined $45,623, according to ESPN.

Appeals officer Derrick Brooks, a former NFL linebacker, decided the Cleveland Browns star's punishment was fair, despite Garrett's claims that he swung the helmet at Rudolph's head because the quarterback called him a racial slur.

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Rudolph, through his agent, "vehemently" denied the accusation. NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said the league investigated Garrett's claim and “found no such evidence."

Garrett never mentioned a racial slur in interviews after the game, even though reporters asked him whether Rudolph said anything to him.

Garrett stood by his claim in a Twitter post, saying he didn't want his accusation against Rudolph made public.

"I was assured that the hearing was space that afforded the opportunity to speak openly and honestly about the incident that led to my suspension," he wrote.

"This was not meant for public dissemination, nor was it a convenient attempt to justify my actions or restore my image in the eyes of those I disappointed. I know what I heard. Whether my opponent's comment was born out of frustration or ignorance, I cannot say. But his actions do not excuse my lack of restraint in the moment, and I truly regret the impact this has had on the league, the Browns and our devoted fans."

Garrett, who was considered the best player on the Browns team, will not play for the rest of the season and he will likely miss some games next year as well.

Steelers player Cameron Heyward defended Rudolph, suggesting Garrett made up an excuse to save his NFL career.

Heyward said Rudolph was "distraught" over Garrett's allegation. "Mason came to me and said, 'I did not say that.'"

Heyward added: "I think using any kind of racial slurs has no place in our country whatsoever, but I think fabricating a story where somebody used a racial slur is a lot more damaging."

Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

Myles Garrett is suspended indefinitely and will not suit up in a Cleveland Browns uniform for the rest of the season.

Maurkice Pouncey and Larry Ogunjobi were also suspended for their roles in the ugly brawl at the end of Thursday night's Browns vs Steelers game.

The sports world was shocked and saddened by the violent act committed by Garrett, who bashed Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph on the head with his own helmet.

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NFL spokesman Michael Signora tweeted the league's decision. Garrett is suspended indefinitely. Steelers center Pouncey has been suspended for three games for kicking Garrett, and Browns defensive tackle Ogunjobi has been suspended for one game for shoving Rudolph to the ground.

All three players are suspended without pay, Yahoo Sports reports. Each franchise has been fined $250,000.

ESPN's "First Take" host Stephen A. Smith agreed with the NFL's disciplinary action. "It's unfortunate, Myles Garrett has to be suspended for the rest of the season... as a Black man, we're going to be judged as a societal issue."

Garrett, a 23-year-old No. 1 overall NFL draft pick, tackled Rudolph, who no longer had the ball. Rudolph took exception to the late hit and began tussling with Garrett on the ground.

Garrett, not wanting to injure his fist on Rudulph's helmet, ripped the 10-pound helmet off Rudolph's head and beat him with it.

Sports analyst Adam Schefter did not mince words on ESPN's "Get Up", saying, "What we saw Thursday night was the closest thing to an on-field criminal act that there's ever been in NFL history."

Fans sitting at home were horrified to see a player rip a quarterback's helmet off and swing the helmet at his head. Such a criminal act was never seen before in the annals of NFL history.

One Twitter user wrote, "The disrespect of hitting a QB with his own helmet. I'm flabbergasted. I don't watch football like that, but that's crazy."

Another tweeted: "@PopeyesChicken, if you’re looking for a store manager, it looks like @MylesLGarrett will be free the rest of the year."

And a third user tweeted: "Bye Myles Garrett!! You don't deserve the privilege to play this game at any level. I'm disgusted!"

It's being reported that Rudolph's agents are considering taking legal action against Garrett.
 

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