The Bengals locker room was an emotional one following their AFC Championship Game loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday, and one Cincinnati defender is regretting his reaction to the game’s ending.
As Germaine Pratt entered the visitors locker room at Arrowhead Stadium, he was spotted yelling, “Why would you touch the (expletive) quarterback?” That was in reference to Joseph Ossai’s late-game penalty that preceded Harrison Butker’s game-winning field goal.
The reaction immediately drew a response from the NFL world, and later prompted an apology from the Bengals linebacker.
“It’s a reaction that anybody has that’s a competitor. You know what was at stake in that moment,” Pratt said, via Shelby Dermer of the Cincinnati Enquirer. “A guy made a mistake, over and done with it. I was emotional. I was in the moment. As a man, you can look yourself in the mirror and say I was wrong. I wasn’t a great teammate in that moment.”
The eventual apology came after a few hours of Pratt defending himself for the outburst, failing to show any contrition for his actions.
“I have real feelings sometimes they are raw,” Pratt wrote in a comment on an Instagram post showing his outburst. “If you love something as much I do sometimes things will be said in the heated of the moment. But I know what type of teammate I am. And what type of man I am. Trust me no love lost I’m hurt. Remember some ppl with hate you, rate you and shake you and try to break you but I will stand tall like always.”
The rest of Ossai’s Bengals teammates supported him publicly after the gaffe, with defensive end Cam Sample consoling his teammate on the bench and defensive tackle BJ Hill standing beside him during a postgame scrum in the locker room.