The longest ever national Football League suspension has been handed out to Cleveland Browns’ defensive end Myles Garrett after a shameful attack on an opponent.
Garrett saw red in the weekend’s game against Pittsburgh Steelers after a tussle with quarterback Mason Rudolph.
In the televised American Football match, Garrett ripped Rudolph’s helmet off and smashed him in the head with the weapon in a swinging blow.
The NFL has banned Garrett indefinitely – which means to the end of the season and any post-season games the Browns might arrange.
Steelers offensive lineman Maurkice Pouncey, who intervened to help teammate Rudolph but kicked Garrett in the helmet while he was on the ground, was suspended for three-games.
Terrible mistake, admits Myles Garrett
Browns defensive lineman Larry Ogunjobi was suspended for one game for pushing Rudolph to the ground.
In addition, the Steelers and Browns were each fined $250,000.
Garrett, 23, has apologised to Rudolph, stating his behaviour was ‘selfish and unacceptable’.
“I made a terrible mistake,” he said.
“I know that we are all responsible for our actions and I can only prove my true character through my actions going forward.
“I want to apologise to Mason Rudolph, my team-mates, our entire organisation, our fans and to the NFL.
NFL bad boys
“That is embarrassing, what I did was foolish. I made a mistake, I lost my cool and that’s on me. It’s going to come back to hurt our team.”
The match ended with the Browns beating Pittsburgh 21-7 in their fourth win of the season.
Garrett has been an NFL bad boy all season with a $10,527 fine for an excessive facemask penalty in week one against Tennessee Titans and fined $42,112 a week later for a roughing-the-passer penalty that injured New York Jets quarterback Trevor Siemian, ending his season.
The previous record NFL punishment was another indefinite ban earlier this season for Vontaze Burfict, a line-backer with Oakland Raiders. The ban was for persistent helmet-to-helmet hits.
Banned players also forfeit their salaries during the duration of the punishment.
The Browns and Steelers are set to play each other again in December – without Garrett and possibly Pouncey.