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It’s Time To Forgive Walter Payton Award Winner Myles Garrett For Mason Rudolph Helmet Smash

Myles Garrett is a hero in the community and abroad, but still a villain in the eyes of some unforgiving fans.

After Adam Schefter announced that Cleveland Browns superstar Myles Garrett had been named the team’s 2020 Walter Payton Man of the Year, Twitter went crazy with a bunch of (most likely Steelers) fans criticizing the honor. 

The award recognizes the NFL’s best players for their performance on the field and their dedication to the community. Garrett’s demons continue to follow him. 

On the field, Garrett is a game-changing pass rusher, tying for third in the NFL with 10.5 sacks and second in the league with four forced fumbles.

In the Cleveland community, he’s just as big of a star and his services are well-noted. Garrett works with Waterboys, a charity that aims to bring clean water to East Africa. He visited Tanzania for two weeks in 2020 to help install wells.

He’s also very active in social justice efforts, reaching out and making donations to the families of victims of police brutality.

In addition, he’s joined with Cleveland Hope Exchange to donate food to those impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Unfortunately, Steelers fans and some other tight-assed fans can’t get the image of Myles Garrett attempting to crush the head of quarterback Mason Rudolph like a grape with his helmet back in 2019 (after Mason reportedly called Garrett a racial slur) out of their minds. They refuse to separate his off the field heroics from the entertainment value he provides in the heat of the moment when the cameras are on. 

READ MORE: White Privilege Is Why Mason Rudolph Didn’t Get Suspended

Cleveland and Pittsburgh have a rich history as division-rivals that historically hate each other, so the negative reactions to Schefter’s announcement don’t come as a surprise. Garrett did have some people run to his defense, but not before a barrage of angry Twitter mongers tried to hijack the narrative and kill the joy of the moment. 

A gracious Garrett responded in a team press release:

“It is an honor to be named the Walter Payton Man of the Year for my team. It is of incredible significance just to be honored and have that kind of recognition because Sweetness was a hell of a man and a hell of a football player. He has been recognized and gone down in history for his off of the field passions and what he did for people in his community and all across the world. I would like to keep that going. He is one of my favorite running backs, as well as players. To be in the same sentence as him and the same breath is an honor in itself.”

The (32) 2020 Walter Payton Man of the Year Award Winners:

 

Arizona: Corey Peters

Atlanta: Steven Means

Baltimore: Bradley Bozeman

Buffalo: Harrison Phillips

Carolina: Shaq Thompson

Chicago: Jimmy Graham

Cincinnati: Geno Atkins

Cleveland: Myles Garrett

Dallas: Jaylon Smith

Denver: Justin Simmons

Detroit: Trey Flowers

Green Bay: Corey Linsley

Houston: Michael Thomas

Indianapolis: Jacoby Brissett

Jacksonville: Josh Lambo

Kansas City: Travis Kelce

Las Vegas: Alec Ingold

Los Angeles Chargers: Isaac Rochell

Los Angeles Rams: Andrew Whitworth

Miami: Byron Jones

Minnesota: Eric Kendricks

New England: Devin McCourty

New Orleans: Demario Davis

New York Giants: Dalvin Tomlinson

New York Jets: Pierre Desir

Philadelphia: Rodney McLeod

Pittsburgh: Vance McDonald

San Francisco: Arik Armstead

Seattle: Russell Wilson

Tampa Bay: Mike Evans

Tennessee: Kevin Byard

Washington: Jonathan Allen

 

 

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