Every year at the Pro Bowl there’s probably some awkwardness as a couple of rivals end up being teammates. It would be hard to find a more awkward pairing than guard Richie Incognito and defensive end Yannick Ngakoue, however.
After Ngakoue’s Jacksonville Jaguars beat Incognito’s Buffalo Bills in a wild-card playoff game, Ngakoue accused Incognito of using some “weak racist slurs” toward him. That’s a serious allegation toward anyone, but even more serious toward Incognito given his history with an infamous bullying scandal when he was with the Miami Dolphins. Then the two ended up as teammates at the Pro Bowl.
One of Incognito’s teammates said he never used any racial slurs, and the NFL has reportedly decided to not punish him, though the matter is still officially under review.
Apparently the two have made peace. The MMQB’s Peter King reported the two talked and “hugged it out.” Incognito said he initiated the conversation.
“I saw him in the locker room, went up to him, said, ‘Good to finally meet you,’ I apologized for my part in this, and I said I hope we can get a drink here and I can get to know you better,” Incognito told King. “He was cool. We shook hands and hugged it out.”
Ngakoue has never specified what Incognito said and wouldn’t discuss their conversation this week, according to the Associated Press. Jaguars teammate Malik Jackson thought it was a nice gesture by Incognito.
“That was really cool, you know,” Jackson told the AP. “We have a huge respect for each other, and sometimes the heat of the moment can get to you and you can say things you might not really mean or do things you might not really mean and be apologetic for it.
“I think it shows the true character of a man to come and apologize and/or talk about it to clear the air.”
This chapter of Incognito’s controversial career seems to be closed, unless more information comes to light. And at least the week in Orlando together won’t be too awkward for Incognito and Ngakoue.
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