Following the Bills’ 10-3 loss Sunday to the Jaguars, Buffalo’s Richie Incognito was accused of making racial slurs by the Jaguars’ Yannick Ngakoue. The Jacksonville defensive end did not elaborate on the specifics of those alleged slurs, but Incognito has been accused of racism in the past, including during a 2013 episode when he was suspended for bullying a teammate while with the Dolphins.
Referring to Incognito by his jersey number, 64, Ngakoue said on Twitter that the Buffalo offensive lineman would “have to come harder than some weak racist slurs.” He added, “I’m proud of my African heritage, as are 70% of the other Black players in this league,” and appended in a hashtag the phrase, “I ain’t Jonathan Martin!”
Martin was the victim of bullying by Incognito and other Miami players. As that scandal unfolded, voice-mail messages and texts emerged in which Incognito allegedly called Martin, among other things, a “half n—– piece of s—.”
“When I see that voice mail, when I see those words come up across the screen, I’m embarrassed by it. I’m embarrassed by my actions,” Incognito subsequently said on Fox Sports. “ … When the words are put in the context, I understand why a lot of eyebrows get raised, but people don’t know how Jon and I communicate to one another. … I’m not a racist. And to judge me by that one word is wrong.”
Incognito, who already had a reputation as one of the NFL’s dirtiest players, was eventually released by the Dolphins and went unsigned for the entire 2014 season. After the Bills picked him up in 2015, he explained how he had “learned from the whole situation” involving Martin and was a “better person” for it.
“That I needed to respect those around me more and that I needed to realize I may find things funny that other find offensive,” Incognito said to NFL.com. “This whole learning process was about becoming self-aware. About becoming a better person/teammate/leader. … Take the opportunity to bring attention to a sensitive subject while proving to people that I’m not a racist jerk.”
Ngakoue did not offer any further comment Sunday on his accusation toward Incognito, but given that his Jaguars are set to take on the Steelers Sunday in an AFC divisional round game, he will almost certainly be asked about it in a media session. Neither Incognito nor the Bills’ organization had any comment on Sunday, but another Buffalo offensive lineman, Dion Dawkins, came to his teammate’s defense.
Dawkins said on Twitter that whereas “everyone always” has been trying to “put some bad thing” on Incognito, “I was next to my guy the entire game and the entire season and believe me, if he was saying some racist stuff I would have been the first to let him know that was out of line.” Dawkins added, “Cut The BS.”
However, it is not the first time that an opposing defensive lineman has claimed that Incognito hurled an in-game racial slur. In 2013, after the Martin scandal broke, former Buccaneer Warren Sapp told Dan Patrick (via Deadspin) that Incognito had once kicked him and called him “the n-word.”
Sapp said he laughed off the insult as an obvious attempt to incite him to violence and get him ejected from a game in which he said he was dominating Incognito. Sapp did add that if Incognito had said something similar “after the game, now we’ve got a real situation.”
(H/T The Big Lead)
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