Last week, an extremely agitated Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette got into a verbal altercation with a fan during the game. Now Jaguars Coach Doug Marrone is saying the screaming match started when the fan yelled out a racial epithet.
During Thursday’s game, Fournette got in a yelling match with a fan that got so animated, several security guards had to pull the player away.
But now, Coach Marrone says the argument was sparked by the fan, according to USA Today.
Marrone said Jaguars Director of Public Relations Tad Dickman showed him the video on Monday. “And then when I was out on the field after our walkthrough, I met with Leonard. He said there was a racial slur, so that’s what was told to me,” Marrone added.
The coach was asked if Fournette would face any punishment for the yelling match with the fan, but he was noncommittal.
“That’s kind of a tough one, when it’s a racial slur, and that’s what the player tells you,” Marrone said.
Indeed, Fournette may escape any punishment if the team is reticent because of the racial slur. And Fournette even found some support for the claim when running back T.J. Yeldon backed up Fournette’s accusation about the fan’s behavior.
“Did I hear it? Yeah,” Yeldon told ESPN. “All the running backs and people on the offensive side were hearing the exchange. They were heckling at us all game, at him and all of us all game. All night. All night. All day they was calling us racial slurs, all game.”
Still, the NFL could launch an investigation with a mind toward punishing the player for getting involved with a fan like he did. But the league has made no announcements one way or the other.
Fournette has had several problems of late. Just after Thanksgiving, a fan hit Fournette in the head with a beer while he was walking through the tunnel after a fight on the field.
— Laces Out (@LacesOutShow) November 27, 2018
Fournette was also handed a one-game suspension for the fight with Bills defensive end Shaq Lawson during last week’s loss in Buffalo.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.