Plenty of NFL fans, including Samuel L. Jackson, are defending Myles Garrett on Twitter

BTW

At the end of a contentious Cleveland Browns victory vs. the Pittsburgh Steelers on Thursday night, Browns defensive end Myles Garrett whacked Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph on his uncovered head with his own helmet during a mini-brawl.

The video for Garrett is damning. But some on Twitter are defending him, including noted football fan Samuel L. Jackson.

Here’s what happened.

Garrett wrestled Rudolph to the ground moments after the Steelers quarterback threw a pass to Trey Edmunds. They tussled on the ground for a moment before Pittsburgh offensive linemen David DeCastro and Matt Feiler joined the fray to attempt to separate the two. It appeared as though Rudolph tried to displace Garrett’s helmet and kick him between the legs when the two were on the ground. In the brouhaha, Garrett eventually ripped off Rudolph’s helmet as he was moved away from the quarterback by the Pittsburgh linemen.

But Rudolph reengaged in the fight, and that’s when Garrett took a swing at him. That led Steelers offensive lineman Maurkice Pouncey to begin punching and kicking Garrett. Suffice to say, it was a big mess that will probably lead to fines and suspensions for Garrett and Pouncey.

The optics, of course, look terrible for Garrett, who tried to injure Rudolph with a potentially dangerous blow to the head. But not everybody was on Rudolph’s side, including Jackson. Particularly with Rudolph calling Garrett “cowardly” and “pretty bush league” after the game.

Others also piled on Rudolph. Some blamed him for continuing the fight after Garrett had been removed from the area.

Some said Garrett is a good person.

Luther Campbell of 2 Live Crew fame wondered what YOU did in your past life that was stupid.

And then O.J. Simpson weighed in, saying that when Rudolph tried to kick Garrett in the groin, “it’s on. I’m just saying.”

In the aftermath, an #IStandWithMyles hashtag was created on Twitter, and there’s little doubt that the issue of race is simmering on the outskirts of this controversy, especially since Rudolph is a reported Donald Trump supporter and Garrett is Black.

The NFL likely will punish Garrett heavily, perhaps by suspending him for the rest of the season and/or fining him tens of thousands of dollars. But whatever happens to Garrett, it’s unlikely that anybody will be fully satisfied.

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Josh Katzowitz

Josh Katzowitz

Josh Katzowitz is a staff writer at the Daily Dot specializing in YouTube and boxing. His work has appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times. A longtime sports writer, he's covered the NFL for CBSSports.com and boxing for Forbes. His work has been noted twice in the Best American Sports Writing book series.