There’s still a bit of bad blood between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns after the infamous brawl that resulted in Myes Garrett’s suspension. Browns coach Freddie Kitchens did nothing to alleviate the situation when he wore a “Pittsburgh Started It” t-shirt earlier this week.
Apparently some members of the Steelers were not amused, and blasted Kitchens after the Steelers beat the Browns on Sunday. “I know that our coach never would have done anything like that,” Steelers guard Ramon Foster told ESPN. “Why throw gas? When you do something like that, you throw your players in harm’s way. He’s not on the field. You throw your players in harm’s way when you do stuff like that with a vengeance. And I hate that for them.”
“You just don’t see that from upper management. We all got to grow as professionals in some sense. I’m glad Coach T [Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin] doesn’t do anything like that,” Foster added.
Some Steelers players responded differently. Defensive tackle Cameron Heyward was spotted wearing a “Free Pouncey” t-shirt while walking into Heinz Field on Sunday, referring to center Maurkice Pouncey who was suspended due to his role in the fight between Mason Rudolph and Myles Garrett.
Kitchens, who wore the shirt Friday night, downplayed his fashion choice. “I wore a T-shirt,” Kitchens said after his team’s Sunday loss, ESPN reports. “I wore a jacket with it. My daughters wanted me to wear the shirt. I’d wear it again. I put on a jacket, I covered it up, I took a picture, that was simple as that. A T-shirt didn’t cause us to give up 40-yard passes. We were ready to play. That’s the only thing people need to be concerned about. We were ready to play.”
Steelers offensive lineman David DeCastro told ESPN that the T-shirt was “pretty stupid.”
“That’s a lot of bulletin board material. I don’t know why you do that as a coach,” he added. “I just don’t get that. Of course it’s going to motivate us. What are you thinking? It’s just not smart.”