The Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin bullying controversy continues. Just days after it was revealed that Miami Dolphins offensive lineman Richie Incognito left a threatening voice mail that contained racial slurs for teammate Jonathan Martin, Incognito gave an interview with Fox Sports and says that Martin sent him an equally threatening text message.
The voice mail Incognito left for Martin came to light earlier this month when ESPN reported that Martin left the Dolphins because he was being harassed. ESPN and other sports outlets pointed their fingers at Incognito for Martin’s departure because of the voice mail Incognito left. Incognito has since been suspended while the Dolphins and the NFL investigate the matter.
As Incognito works to clear his name, he did the interview with Fox Sports and tried to put the voice mail he left for Martin into context. Apparently, Incognito isn’t the only one guilty of making threats, something he says was never taken seriously, anyway.
Check out the interview below.
“I’ve taken stuff too far. I did not intend to hurt him,” Incognito said. “What I was going for…I hadn’t seen my buddy. I wanted to shock him. I wanted him to call me back. When the words are put out of context, I understand why a lot of eyebrows are raised. What people don’t know is how Jon and I communicate to one another. For instance, a week before this went down, Jonathan Martin texted me on my phone, ‘I will murder your whole F’ing family.’
“Now, do I think Jonathan Martin was going to murder my family?” Incognito continued. “Not one bit. He texted me that. I didn’t think he was going to kill my family. I knew that was coming from a brother. I knew it was coming from a friend. I knew it was coming from a teammate.”
To further prove that he wasn’t the cause of Martin leaving the team and that things were fine between the two linemen, Incognito shared a couple other texts Martin sent him three days after he left the team:
“Wassup man? The world’s gone crazy lol I’m good tho congrats on the win.”
“Yeah I’m good man. It’s insane bro but just know I don’t blame you guys at all it’s just the culture around football and the locker room got to me a little.”
While Incognito doesn’t make any apology for some of the threats he made, he does say he shouldn’t have used a racial slur towards Martin. “I’m not a racist, and to judge me by that one word is wrong,” Incognito said. “In no way, shape or form is it ever acceptable for me to use that word, even if it’s friend-to-friend on a voice mail.”
— Richie incognito (@68INCOGNITO) November 3, 2013
Even though many people are outraged with Incognito’s actions and claim he is a bully and should be booted from the NFL, the suspended player maintains that the offensive language, from the threats to the racist language, are all part of the game. “All this stuff coming out, it speaks to the culture of our locker room, our closeness, our brotherhood,” Incognito said. “And the racism, the bad words, that’s what I regret most. But that’s a product of the environment.”
Do you think Incognito’s actions constitute bullying as some claim or that he’s right, and it’s all part of football culture? Respond below.
[Image via Twitter]