Sports are emotional, and sometimes players let those emotions get the best of them in the heat of the moment.
Such was the case for Cincinnati Bengals linebacker Germaine Pratt, as Monday he issued an apology for his post-game reaction to a game-changing penalty by teammate Joseph Ossai in Sunday’s AFC Championship.
As Pratt walked off the field at Arrowhead Stadium after the Bengals’ heart-breaking loss, a video surfaced from Katie Kapusta of Spectrum News Ohio that had Pratt yelling, “Why would you touch the f–ing quarterback?”
For context, Ossai pushed Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes while he scrambled out of bounds, drawing multiple flags and moving the Chiefs 15 yards closer for the potential game-winning kick. Harrison Butker calmly put the 45-yard kick right down the middle, sending the Chiefs to the Super Bowl and the Bengals packing.
On Monday, Pratt walked back his actions and admitted he made a mistake.
“I was in the moment,” Pratt told reporters Monday. “I was wrong. I would say I was wrong. As a man, you can look yourself in the mirror and say, ‘I was wrong.’ I wasn’t a great teammate in that moment. That doesn’t define me as a man.”
The 26-year-old also admitted to letting his competitive drive get the best of him in a game where a trip to the NFL’s ultimate prize was on the line.
“It’s a reaction that anybody has that’s a competitor,” Pratt said. “You know what was at stake in that moment. I love this game, no doubt about it.
“They talk about my character as a teammate. Some people never played this game. They don’t know how much effort guys put in the game.”
In his fourth season with the Bengals, the NC state product had 99 total tackles and two interceptions this season for Cincinnati.
Pratt will head into the off-season as an unrestricted free agent and his NFL future with the Bengals in question.