LOS ANGELES: Cleveland coach Freddie Kitchens, whose Browns face an NFL rematch with Pittsburgh Sunday two weeks after their infamous on field brawl, was spotted wearing a “Pittsburgh started it” T-shirt on Saturday.
Cleveland defensive end Myles Garrett was handed an indefinite suspension for his helmet swinging attack on Steelers quarterback Mason Rudolph late in Cleveland’s November 14 victory.
Rudolph has denied using a racial slur but was still handed a $50,000 fine for his role in the fracas — just one of 33 fines handed out by the NFL to those involved.
A Browns spokesman told ESPN on Saturday that Kitchens’ family had given him the shirt as a joke for his 45th birthday on Friday.
He wore it out to a movie, and when he posed for a picture with a fan the shirt’s message was barely visible beneath his jacket — a shot that soon popped up on social media.
The shirts, made and sold by GV Art & Design, are sure to be in evidence among Cleveland fans for Sunday’s game at Pittsburgh.
But earlier this week Kitchens said the Browns should put the melee behind them and focus on the task at hand.
“I want them to go into this game with one thing and one thing only on their minds, and that’s to do their job,” Kitchens said Monday. “And anything that overshadows that in any way is not acceptable, and it’s not the best for the team.”