By John Reid
JACKSONVILLE | Defensive end Yannick Ngakoue stood by his claim on Monday that Buffalo Bills guard Richie Incognito directed a racial slur at him during Sunday’s wild card game at EverBank Field.
Ngakoue said he could not recall if Incognito used the N-word, but said he heard it after rushing the passer.
“He knows what he said, I don’t have to repeat it,’’ Ngakoue said. “I’ve been playing this game since I was a little kid, you hear all type of stuff, stuff is not going to bother you. But if somebody says something about your ethnicity that’s really kind of taking it a little bit too far. I’m all with trash talking, it’s part of the game. But you can’t say certain things.’’
Jaguars coach Doug Marrone confirmed Monday afternoon the NFL is looking into the situation.
Ngakoue took to social media more than five hours after Sunday’s 10-3 victory against the Bills to accuse Incognito.
Ngakoue posted on Twitter: “Great win to day! And 64, you going have to come harder than some weak racist slurs. I’m proud of my African heritage, as are 70% of the other Black players in this league. #Iaintjonathanmartin!”
Asked why he shared the accusation on social media, Ngakoue said he felt people just needed to know.
Incognito has not responded to requests for comments, but teammate Dion Dawkins defended him.
Dawkins, an offensive lineman, wrote on Twitter: “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.”
Defensive end Calais Campbell said he didn’t hear a racial slur from Incognito but acknowledged that several Bills players were trash talking throughout the game.
“They were really trying and get us to lose our cool and get penalties,” Campbell said. “There were a lot of guys talking, like it was coached, to get us to lose our cool and try and get a 15-yard penalty. That’s something we’ll have to deal with because we can be a little too aggressive at times but not going too far.
“I understand wanting to give yourself an advantage and egg them on for a penalty, but there are boundaries. You don’t go to racial slurs. That’s not OK.”
Ngakoue said he was somewhat shocked after hearing the racial slur but decided against confronting Incognito on the field.
“All you can do is walk away, put the team first and focus on winning,” Ngakoue said. “You can’t focus on individual battles. When I go on the field, I respect everybody 100 percent. I don’t care what skin color you are, I don’t care what you believe in or nothing. We are out here playing football. I’m trying to compete just like you.”
In 2013, Incognito was the primary figure in Bullygate when he played for the Miami Dolphins.
He was suspended eight games for what investigator Ted Wells called a “a pattern of harassment,” toward teammate Jonathan Martin.