Richie Incognito: Bullying Since The Early 2000s?By: Emily Greene - November 6, 2013
It looks like bullying isn’t something Richie Incognito just picked up.
With the recent news of Miami Dolphins offensive lineman Incognito bullying teammate and fellow offensive lineman Jonathan Martin, Incognito’s past is coming back to haunt him.
On Monday, it was revealed that Incognito sent racist and threatening text messages and voicemails to Martin, but Incognito has been a bully since college.
While a freshman at Nebraska in 2002, Incognito bullied non-scholarship walk-on and fellow teammate Jack Limbaugh so bad he walked out of practice. The events of that day were written down in Diary of a Husker written by another teammate, David Kolowski.
Kolowski told USA Today Sports, “Richie was a guy who came in with all the talent in the world, and Jack was an easy mark for a guy like Richie, who came across as a bully. Jack was a walk-on just trying to make the team. There was a bit of that kind of bullying with Jack. He didn’t appreciate it, but in that culture you don’t run and cry to the coaches.”
Incognito’s attitude and character continued to cause problems for him. He was suspended from Nebraska in 2004, then withdrew and went to Oregon. He was kicked off that team by then-coach Mike Bellotti who told the Oregonian, “There were conditions we had set down and set forth for him to be admitted to our program, and they were not met.”
In Spring 2005 Incognito declared for the NFL Draft, but many were wary of him, and some teams, including the Indianapolis Colts and New England Patriots, didn’t even put him on their draft board because of the trouble he often found himself in.
Even in 2009 Incognito was named the “NFL’s dirtiest player” by in a poll of 99 players taken by The Sporting News.
Nothing seems to have stopped Incognito’s alleged bullying tendencies.
In a voicemail sent to Martin in April 2013, Incognito said, “Hey, wassup, you half n—– piece of s—. I saw you on Twitter, you been training 10 weeks. [I want to] s— in your f—ing mouth. [I’m going to] slap your f—ing mouth. [I’m going to] slap your real mother across the face [laughter]. F— you, you’re still a rookie. I’ll kill you.”
On Sunday the Miami Dolphins suspended Incognito indefinitely. A source for the team told the Miami Herald, “He’s done. There are procedures in place, and everyone wants to be fair. The NFL is involved. But from a club perspective he’ll never play another game here.”
After a lunchroom incident last week, Martin left the team. He also missed two days in the Spring. The team thought Martin was unhappy and struggling, but sources reveal that his unhappiness was due to Incognito, though out of fear of retaliation, Martin didn’t say so at the time.
NFL free agent Lawrence Jackson has been quite vocal on Twitter about his hatred of Incognito and his dirty playing ways.
Both players and coaches alike didn’t see anything that would make them think Incognito was bullying Martin. Many even considered Incognito an “honorary black man.” Some would even disagree that Incognito is a racist.
Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill said, “I think if you had asked Jon Martin a week before who his best friend on the team was, he would have said Richie Incognito,” the quarterback told reporters. “The first guy to stand up for Jonathan if anything went down on the field, any kind of tussle, Richie was the first guy there. When they wanted to hang out … outside of football, who was together: Richie and Jonathan. So I can’t, I’m not in those guys’ shoes. I can’t explain what’s going on.”
Before he was suspended, Incognito took to his Twitter in hopes of clearing his name.