Following the Buffalo Bills’ Wild Card loss to Jacksonville, Jaguars defensive end Yannick Ngakoue took to Twitter to accuse Bills guard Richie Incognito of calling him a racial slur during some jawing on the field.
On Monday night, Vic Carucci of The Buffalo News reported that the NFL had finished their investigation with no discipline for Incognito expected. ESPN’s Mike Rodak refuted that story an hour or so later, followed by the Associated Press echoing that the investigation was still indeed underway. Carucci himself retracted his report, as well.
Incognito hasn’t addressed the accusations publicly not posted on Twitter since the accusation, but Carucci reports he will do so from the Pro Bowl where he is participating in his third straight all-star game and fourth of his career. Ngakoue is also at the Pro Bowl on the AFC squad as an alternate.
Great win to day! And 64, you goin 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!— YANNICK NGAKOUE! (@YannGetSacks91) January 8, 2018
Incognito wears number 64 and the hashtag at the end evokes the name of Jonathan Martin. Martin was Incognito’s teammate with the Miami Dolphins until 2013, when Martin reported extreme bullying to the league at the hands of Incognito. Incognito was eventually suspended eight games for his role in the scandal but returned to the NFL in 2015 with the Bills.
Linemates of Incognito came to his defense, including the two men who directly flank him; left tackle Dion Dawkins and center Eric Wood. Ngakoue’s teammates said they didn’t hear anything either. In a playoff game with a lot of microphones, the NFL probably listened to some feeds to see if they could hear anything, too.
Ngakoue has refused to say publicly what Incognito said.
At the team’s year-end locker clean out, Incognito was conspicuously absent. The next day, general manager Brandon Beane and head coach Sean McDermott spoke about the situation at their press conference with the media. Both said they would follow league protocol.
Editor’s note: an earlier version of this article cited a report saying the investigation has concluded. That report has now been retracted by the original author so we have made the corresponding change. - MRW