Incognito, like all NFL players, is protected by the Players Association. They released this statement. “‘The grievance challenges his suspension for conduct which was alleged to have occurred while he was with the club. In the grievance, Incognito requests that the hearing be held on an expedited basis so that he can immediately resume playing for the team.”
Miami suspended Incognito on November 3rd for allegedly using racial slurs, leaving harassing voicemails and performing other “hazing-like” rituals against his teammate Jonathan Martin. The issue is that the Dolphins have not told Incognito how long his suspension will last. An NFL player’s contract protects him from this kind of open-ended suspension. The most a team can suspend a player for detrimental conduct is four weeks.
The NFL is currently investigating whether Incognito’s behavior was extreme bullying that pushed Martin so far to the brink that he had to leave the team and seek help for psychological issues. Or, were Incognito’s actions just a day in the life of any NFL player and considered more or less par for the course.
Here’s a clip of Richie Incognito in an interview with Jay Glazer of Fox Sports explaining his side of the story:
A neutral arbitrator will hear the case, as they do will all non-injury grievances, as per the labor agreement. The veteran guard even denies that he bullied Martin at all and that the two were friends. “You can ask anybody in the Miami Dolphins’ locker room who had Jon Martin’s back the absolute most, and they will undoubtedly tell you. Jon never showed signs that football was getting to him or the locker room was getting to him.”
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