Jaguars WR Lee says he was flagged for using racial slur
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) Jaguars receiver Marqise Lee says he was flagged for using a racial slur in Jacksonville's 33-16 loss to Oakland on Sunday.
Lee acknowledged Monday that it was the reason for his unsportsmanlike conduct penalty late in the third quarter, a flag that seemingly started Jacksonville's fourth-quarter meltdown in which defensive tackle Malik Jackson and cornerback Jalen Ramsey were ejected.
''I got flagged for saying the N-word,'' Lee said. ''It was back and forth. In the midst of the game, emotion is going from both teams. It just so happened the ref heard me, so therefore I got the flag. I've just got to fess up to it.''
Lee said he and several Raiders were ''going back and forth as far as the words and stuff.'' The fourth-year receiver from USC said he let his emotions get the best of him and said ''it went both ways.''
The NFL made racial slurs a point of emphasis in 2014, reminding officials that the league already had a rule against abusive language.
Lee jogged off the field after his 15-yard penalty and was clearly frustrated as he explained to coach Gus Bradley what happened and why.
''Throughout the whole game, we had a lot of players saying a lot of different things, but that's just the midst of the game,'' Lee said. ''It's kind of hard when you have refs out there trying to limit what people say when you've got grown men hitting each other.
''You've got a lot of things that's going on that's flaring as far as in your mind. ... It wasn't intentional at all. I know he woke up the next day not worrying about it at all, just like I woke up not worrying about it. I feel like you're going to always have that issue because you're going to always have situations flame up and both teams are going back and forth and things are going to get said regardless if the ref likes it or not.''
Lee finished with seven receptions for 107 yards.
The Raiders were flagged 11 times for 117 yards. The Jaguars were penalized 13 times for 112 yards.
''That's a reflection of me as a head coach,'' Bradley said Monday. ''It's a reflection of our discipline. It's a reflection of how our culture is and how we talk and how we handle things. Yeah, that part of it, that hits home with me because obviously it's my responsibility, the demeanor of this team and how we approach things and how we play with poise.
''I take personal responsibility for that.''
Jackson was penalized twice on the same play in the fourth, first for roughing the passer on a third-and-10 play, and then for using abusive language toward an official. He was ejected four plays later following another exchange with an official. Jackson ran to the locker room, seemingly eager to get off the field early.
''It's an emotional game and we have to go out here and balance playing emotions from when to say things, not when to say things and not when to do things,'' Jackson said. ''It's just hard to balance. Sometimes you lose control, and I think that's what happened. We lost control, but I don't see this being a tendency. I don't see this being an issue, and we're going to move forward.''
Ramsey and Raiders receiver Johnny Holton were ejected for fighting in the final minutes of the lopsided matchup.
''They probably don't want me to say this, but I'm going to just keep it real with y'all,'' Ramey said. ''If I was out there nine more times, I would do the same thing. I don't think I should have been thrown out of the game for it. Neither do I think he should have been thrown out of the game for it, to be real with you. But I'm not going to be disrespectful.''
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