An Instagram photo posted Friday night shows Browns coach Freddie Kitchens wearing a “Pittsburgh started it” T-shirt.
The shirt is in reference to the Browns-Steelers incident that resulted in the indefinite suspension of Cleveland defensive end Myles Garrett for striking Pittsburgh quarterback Mason Rudolph with a helmet. Two other suspensions and more than $730,000 in fines also came about from the incident.
The Browns issued a statement to NFL Network’s Aditi Kinkhabwala that Kitchens’ daughters presented him with the shirt on Friday, which was his birthday, as a joke and that the coach wore it while with his family to see a movie. Kitchens did not intend for anyone to see it and realizes it’s not a good look.
Earlier on Friday, Kitchens told Kinkhabwala that he and his team had talked about the incident in Cleveland and “we’ve put it to bed,” Kitchens said.
Kitchens decision to wear the controversial shirt comes less than 48 hours before the two division rivals meet Sunday in Pittsburgh for a rematch.
Cleveland defeated Pittsburgh, 21-7, on Nov. 14.