Posted November 10, 2013

Richie Incognito defends his actions toward Jonathan Martin in FOX interview

AFC East, Miami Dolphins
Richie Incognito claims that his words and actions in the Jonathan Martin case relate to locker-room culture.

Richie Incognito (left) claims that his actions toward Jonathan Martin were a byproduct of locker-room culture. (Lynne Sladky/AP)

In his first interview since he was suspended indefinitely by his team, Miami Dolphins guard Richie Incognito told Fox Sports’ Jay Glazer that his treatment of offensive tackle Jonathan Martin was a product of locker-room culture.

“This isn’t an issue about bullying,” Incognito said. “This is an issue of my and John’s relationship. You can ask anybody in the Miami Dolphins locker room, ‘Who had John Martin’s back the absolute most?’ and they’ll undoubtedly tell you [that it was] me. All this stuff coming out … it speaks to the culture of our locker room. It speaks to the culture of our closeness. It speaks to the culture of our brotherhood. The racism, the bad words … that’s what I regret most, but that is a product of the environment, and that’s something we use all the time.”

The racism and bad words Incognito refers to came in a voicemail from him to Martin sent in April 2013. In the voicemail, Incognito called Martin a “half-n—–” and made threats against him. In texts to Martin, Incognito made further threats against Martin and his family.

Incognito said that while he understands why eyebrows were raised by that language, “[t]he week before this went down, Jonathan Martin texted me on my phone, [saying] ‘I will murder your whole effing family.’ Now, did I think Jonathan Martin was going to murder my family? Not one bit. I knew it was coming from a brother. I knew it was coming from a friend. I knew it was coming from a teammate. That just puts in context how we communicate with one another.

“John never showed signs that football was getting to him, or that the locker room was getting to him,” Incognito continued. “When I see those words come across the screen [the words he texted to Martin], I’m embarrassed by them. But what I want people to know is that the way Jonathan and the rest of the offensive line, and how our teammates communicate … it’s vulgar. It’s not right. I understand why eyebrows get raised, but people don’t know how John and I communicate with each other.”

Glazer then asked Incognito about the instance of a white man using the N-word.

“I’m not a racist. To judge me by that one word is wrong. In no way, shape, or form is it acceptable for me to use that word, even if it’s friend-to-friend. It’s thrown around a lot. It’s a word I’ve heard John use a lot — not saying it’s right for when I did it in the voicemail, but there are a lot of colorful words thrown around in the locker room that we don’t use in everyday life. The fact of the matter remains, though, that the voicemail was left on a private voicemail for my friend, and it was a joke.”

Incognito claimed that he didn’t know his words were hurting Martin.

“I can’t sit here and tell you who over-reacted, and who did what. I can just be accountable for my actions.And my actions were coming from a place of love. No matter how bad and how vulgar it sounds, that’s how we communicate, and that’s how our friendship was. Those are the facts, and that’s what I’m accountable for.”

Regarding the subject of leadership, Incognito admitted that he let a lot of things slip by.

“As a leader, and as his best friend on the team, that’s what has me miffed — how I missed this. I never saw it coming. When it’s on the screen, it sounds terrible. It sounds like I’m a racist pig. It sounds like a lot of things that it’s not. I wanted to clear the air by saying that I’m a good person. If you go by all the knucklehead stuff I’ve pulled in the past, you’re thinking, ‘This guy’s a loose cannon. This guy’s a terrible person. This guy’s a racist.’ But that couldn’t be further from the truth. If I was a racist, and I was bullying Jonathan Martin, when the press went in there, my teammates would have said, ‘We saw this, and we saw that.’

“I’m proud of my guys for having my back and telling the truth. But the fact of the matter is, when John left the team on Monday, we played a game on Thursday, and I spoke to John on Friday. I spoke with him through text messaging. He texted me and said, ‘I don’t blame you guys — I blame some stuff in the locker room, and I blame the culture.’ When all this stuff got going, and bullying got attached to it, and my name got attached to it, I texted him as a friend and said, ‘What’s up with this, man?’ He said, ‘It’s not coming from me — I haven’t said anything to anybody.’”

Incognito told Glazer that he would show him all the texts after the interview, and “I’ll show you the framework of a friendship.” Were he to see Martin again right now, Incognito told Glazer that “I’d just give him a big hug right now, because we’ve been through so much. I’d be like, ‘Dude — what’s going on? Why didn’t you come to me?’ If he told me that I took it too far, I would just apologize and explain to him exactly what I explained to you, and I’d apologize to his family that they took it as malicious. But I never meant it that way.”

Incognito made good on his promise to show Glazer his phone, and Glazer printed out 1,142 texts over the last year between Incognito and Martin.

Martin’s last two texts to Incognito, per Glazer, were these:

“Wassup man? The world’s gone crazy LOL I’m good 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.”

The only question Incognito sidestepped from Glazer, who Incognito has been friendly with for five years, was whether Dolphins coaches told Incognito to toughen Martin up, as has been reported. Incognito said that he could not comment because of possible legal issues.

Comments from the Dolphins locker room did indeed back up Incognito’s claim that he had Martin’s back, and that the two players were friends. Receiver Brian Hartline claimed that Martin was seen laughing at the voicemail, and quarterback Ryan Tannehill said that the pair were close.

“I think if you would ask John Martin a week before who his best friend on the team was, he would say, Richie Incognito.  The first guy to stand up for Jonathan when 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.”

Tannehill also said that he had not heard the voicemail.

Martin is currently in California. He has retained attorney David Cornwell, who released a statement on Nov. 7. In that statement, Cornwell alleged multiple examples of Martin’s teammates mistreating him, and quoted a message from a teammate in which Martin’s sister was threatened in a sexual manner. Cornwell asserted that Martin was at one point physically attacked by multiple teammates, and a source has told CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora that this incident occurred away from the team facility, but that it was witnessed by other Dolphins players.

Incognito is also in California, receiving advice from his agent, David Dunn. The NFL has started what it claims will be a comprehensive investigation. On Sunday morning, Mike Silver of the NFL Network reported that neither general manager Jeff Ireland nor head coach Joe Philbin will survive this mess beyond the end of the 2013 season.

47 comments
Cougarblue
Cougarblue

Give it up you piece of trash, "you can ask anybody", "I'm a victim of the culture too" , just keep going you're digging your hole deeper and deeper. It's over friend, you will never draw another NFL team check. You might try the rehab game and come out a Renaissance man, nope don't think you could pull it off. Maybe try the UFC? But just go away, you're clearly not smart enough to help yourself out with all your whining and blubbering.

noshing
noshing

The Big Weirdo

His Dolphin teammates called Jonathan Martin The Big Weirdo.  Of course they did. 

Someone is weird if we don’t understand them and if they don’t fit our concept of an acceptable person, friend, co-worker, or teammate.  Most of all, someone is weird because we fear them.  Weirdoes trigger a subconscious panic that they might reflect something in us that we want concealed—sensitivity, originality, or insecurity.  We are also afraid that if we don’t mock and ostracize the weirdo someone might think we have some affinity to, or for, the weirdo.  If that happens we could become vulnerable—like the weirdo. 

And, we might also be afraid that the weirdo knows something that we don’t know, maybe about life, happiness, handling inner-turmoil, or enduring punishment.  How many bullies intimidate as a way to sure up a fear that they are not tough enough?  When their victims suffer nobly, the bullies have to escalate the torture.  Some weirdoes can’t conform, and some might be able to conform to certain degree, but they refuse to even try.  In both cases, this is fortitude because the weirdoes courageously push on from one day to the next, through a gauntlet of their own personal tormentors.  Incognito verbally and emotionally abused Jonathan Martin for well over a year, and even a Philistine like Richie Incognito has to know that his victim is tougher than he is on a profound level.  This bitter resentment no doubt fueled the vile and vicious voicemails and texts Incognito left for Martin just before Jonathan left the Dolphins.  Truth be know, the weirdoes are infinitely tougher than the popular.  We put them through hell and they march on.   

Lastly, weirdoes typically have some unique aspects—intelligence, talents, independence, style, a certain je ne sais quoi—that make us jealous and feel inferior—so we have to drive the weirdo away from us to regain our superiority.  You look at Jonathan Martin and he looks like any other African-American offensive lineman in the NFL.  The resemblance ends abruptly at the team photo.  This man grew up with the support and nurturing from two Harvard graduates.  Not only did he have two parents at home taking care of him, but also two parents who spoke an elevated version of standard English.  By the time he showed for the first day of grade school, he was already en route for honors high school courses.  In the Dolphins’ locker room, this weirdo didn’t even drop his verbs, end sentences with at, or say make-up words like irregardless.  This weirdo had to be destroyed just on this count alone, especially amongst some of his fellow Black teammates—the ones who came from circumstances of poverty and weak educational experiences.   It was the old field slave resenting and loathing the house slave and his refinements, higher station, and fewer encounters with a savage master and his bull whip.

Jonathan Martin had the audacity to go to a fine and rigorous school like Stanford, where he excelled on the athletic field and in the classroom.  What a bizarre weirdo, why didn’t he just play at a football factory state school and assault girls with a golf club while his teammates yucked it up.  Scholarship, gentility, and quite suffering are Jonathan Martin’s major crimes.  Richie Incognito is the sheriff, who has deputies, and a posse.  When Jonathan sat down to eat with his teammates and the posse got up and left him sitting there humiliated, the bullies successfully ran him out of town, yet they are the weakest men in the drama.     

The Dolphins have been running a maniacal and menacing clown show, and, although, not every team in the NFL is conducting business in the same manner, every team that has a weirdo has a victim.  They have someone being emotionally abused—maybe not to the brutal extreme Incognito et al practiced, but does it matter?  Emotional abuse is emotional abuse, and if it continues long enough a human being can become distraught, depressed, and possibly suicidal.  When emotional abuse is laced with bigotry, it can have an even more toxic effect on the victim.  When Incognito decided to use racism as a torture device, he probably did not know he was following a long NFL bully tradition.  Read about players like the 1947 L.A. Rams' Kenny Washington and the abuse he and the other post-WW II integrationists suffered playing in the NFL.  Author Michael MacCambridge said that "many [were] emotionally and physically scared by the experience."  Sixty-sis years later and a white player, president of the team council no less, can’t resist making racist attacks on a teammate and now that teammate is in counseling.

The Big Weirdo is exactly the man every parent should want his or her child to become. He tried to make peace with a vile and aggressive man.  The mystery of his last name, Incognito, is now uncovered: he is a bull shark cloaked as a dolphin.  Martin endured over a year of exploitation and demoralizing attacks.  When he could not take any more, he left—he did not take a crowbar to Richie’s head.  And in the midst of all of terror leading up to his exit, he went out every Sunday and laid it all on the line for himself and his teammates.  And the Dolphins said he was soft.


Jonathan Martin, you are a big weirdo—i.e. a sensitive, athletic, eclectic, highly intelligent, refined, tough, prudent, in short, a princely Renaissance man.  Big Weirdo—a new badge of honor and a new badge of courage for kids everywhere. We hope. 

bryoman
bryoman

I thought it was funny how Jimmy Johnson defended him, Jimmy just proved how OUT OF TOUCH he really is.  THIS IS ONLY 1 SIDE to this story.  Howie Long was RIGHT ON TARGET saying this NEVER happened in his Locker Room, probably because these players are immature and over paid, while the players who played in his day weren't.  I guess it's okay to shoot the "N" word around like it's nothing and then HIDE behind the cloak of joking around taking this too far.  Funny how when a bully get's CAUGHT they automatically say it was all in fun and we were friends, Well I for one ain't drinking the Koolaid on this one and believing all the BS that is being spewed.  Nuff said.

EdwardWalsh
EdwardWalsh

so Martins texts saying he will kill incognitos family mean nothing? Lol what a double standard! I have worked in more than one situation where grown men "bust balls" constantly using humor and most of it in bad taste to get through tough work days it is definitely not the same culture you will find as a secretary or in corporate america

PatrickBatemanVP
PatrickBatemanVP

Adam Schefter is reporting Jonathan Martin has signed up for U-15 indoor soccer.

Rickapolis
Rickapolis

Oh, okay.  No problem. It was all just a bit of fun between the fellows.  Let's forget all about it, right?


EaglesPdx
EaglesPdx

Too funny...."Dirtiest Player in NFL" does an interview with the "Dirtiest Network in USA", Fox...made for each other...poor Richie is just misunderstood...by Nebraska, by Oregon, by Dungy/Indy ("Do not draft - character"), by Pioli/Pats, by Rams (tossed off team), by Bills (tossed off team)...by ALL of the NFL (Dirtiest Player in Football") twice....but Fox will defend him.

me1
me1

Still illegal, even under Florida's "employment at will" mentality. This is the thing people refuse to comprehend, blaming it on "testosterone", "real men", "locket room behavior", it is still illegal.

BigBubba
BigBubba

Yeah that sounds like rationalization to me, Incognito.  Everybody is wrong except you.  Your past record speaks volumes about you, when combined with this incident.  It's a disaster. 

burt.doug
burt.doug

you fellows do realize that Glazer runs a MMA school in the off-season and one of his students and close friends is who else but Ingognito...so this whole interview was a sham  and to write what the text messages said is bogus, why not do a screen capture...and where were the hard questions??....Glazer embarrassed himself

M20
M20

Hm. This changes things. I don't take everything Incognito said here at face value, but those texts from Martin are completely at odds with what he's doing now legally. He says he doesn't blame his teammates at all, but his attorney is saying the opposite. Very confused now about what's going on.

Ballers
Ballers

You guys are so clueless, if this where a real racial rant this guy would be toast. Only your bro can send a message like that. We all know if a white guy sent a real threatening racial slur filled text there be a shooting. Instead he goes home to get counseling. There so much more to this story don't judge without the facts.

Richard B
Richard B

If the brotherhood was that strong, why did Marin leave?

OK
OK

A Skinhead interviews The NFL's Dirtiest Player about his racist Tweets and phone messages.

Only on Roger Ailes's Fox.

decredico
decredico

there is no real defense to this scum baggery  ... he is white trash steroid-built muscle headed piece of feces

Cool
Cool

When it  looks,waddles, quacks and swims like a duck... you have to excuse us all for calling it a duck.  Incognito had team members walking off the teams back in college.   His interview reminds me of the school bully who is being questioned by the principle and he turns towards his classmates and says..."Just ask them, they know I didn't do it."   Sorry Incognito, it is about bullying, and just because you create a culture, doesn't mean it is suddenly acceptable.

pk_sea
pk_sea

@EdwardWalsh Martin's text was with a woman holding a crazy looking dog with the quotes, "I will kill your whole fu**ing family."  It's obvious, once you put it in context, that Incognito was reiterating the joke back at Martin.  When you take it out of context, like the press has been doing, it looks like Incognito is threatening someone's life. 

noshing
noshing

@EaglesPdx 

the proverbial nail on the head--two heads: Incognito and Glazer

spot on EaglesPdx

Marty2
Marty2

@BigBubba Yeah, he doesn't seem like such a bad guy - except when he does these bad things, which he seems to have been doing for years and years.  Groping a girl with a golf club then having her paid off buy someone in the organization?     

Can you spell   E N A B L E R S ?

EaglesPdx
EaglesPdx

@burt.doug Ugh..."Mixed Martial Arts"...talk about making money off desperate people destroying each other for other people's enjoyment and Glazer's profits.  Figures Fox and Glazer would team up to defend the "Dirtiest Player in Football".   Glaze is looking to his future, waiting for Icognito to burn through his NFL cash and become a down and outer and Glazer will put him in the ring...ugly business.

JohnDeSilva
JohnDeSilva

@burt.doug you embarrassed yourself  with your stupid comment that interview was not biased at all 

Huskerstildeath
Huskerstildeath

@burt.doug you are insane, insane. Glazer did not pull any punches. He didn't ask him any softball questions. He asked everything we wanted to hear. And do you really, really think that Glazer is going to risk his reputation as a reporter by faking text messages for a guy he teaches MMA?! Dude, your logic is beyond flaw. You wanted something, and you didn't get it, sorry. Of course Incognito is going to want to talk to a guy he knows who is not going to try to ambush him. He asked tough question and you got the answers, deal with that.

meandmesa
meandmesa

@M20 We don't yet have any proof that martin sent these text messages.  I'm not passing judgment on this story till I see/hear all the evidence.

OK
OK

@Ballers  

Why not return to your adoration of Adrian Peterson and his six children by five different women?

After all, AP be (sic) a hero (very sick)....

Huskerstildeath
Huskerstildeath

@Cool question Einstein, if me and my friends get together and our dynamic is to play pranks and haze each other, and we are cool with that, and then one of us says its too much, who faults is that? I would say is the friend that can't handle it. That is their culture, all the other players were cool with it. Is only Martin that had a problem with it. Why aren't all the other players scapegoating Incognito? 

mkd09
mkd09

@Cool Individuals don't create culture, societies create culture.  The culture was created by every member of the Dolphins and condoned by the coaches and organization.  Incognito is an idiot and the culture is inappropriate but if Martin condoned previous incidents then he is also culpable for creating and perpetuating the culture he now is bashing.  I hope there is a culture shift, but punish the organization and the coaches as much as Incognito.

burt.doug
burt.doug

@Huskerstildeath @burt.doug  you said it "he asked everything you wanted to hear"...enough said, so you deal with that...unbelievable, if Incognito is the leader in any dressing room then that dressing room has big problems...of course all dressing rooms are tough places that is a given, I've have been in enough to deal with it..but your not the sharpest knife in the drawer as this goes beyond Incognito, it goes to Ireland, the same man that asked Dez Bryant "is your mom a prostitute", that is the true leader of a team, and where the buck has to stop, so yes Glazer did embarrass himself, as this isn't even a Incognito or Martin issue...to think it is is just ridiculous...Ireland will be gone you can bank on that....cheers..

Huskerstildeath
Huskerstildeath

@OK @Ballers what the hell does AP have to do this with this story. Lets see, Ballers is saying, lets this play out, and lets get all our facts in first? Wow, that is crazy talk, nope, we need to make a judgement on this story last week.

OK
OK

@Huskerstildeath

Husker,

Meir Kahane was Jewish, too.

And The World's Most Dangerous Man, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor "One Shot From The Bomb" Lieberman, is Jewish, too.

meandmesa
meandmesa

@Huskerstildeath  @OK Wow. Just wow.  You (Husker) accuse Ok of being intellectually challenged and you come back with one of the most moronic assertions I've ever seen.  What effin difference does it make whether Glazer is Jewish?  Does that mean he must fit into some preconceived notion about the way all Jews think?  Dumbest post I've ever seen.

Cool
Cool

@Huskerstildeath @Cool Let me ask you a question.. have you ever been doing something with a group of friends, and someone does something illegal or stupid.. have you ever just kept your objection to yourself because you didn't want to cause any problems with the friendship?  Have you ever done something out of peer pressure and later wished you hadn't?  See, Einstein Jr, this is what we call facts of life... you can't tell me that the others in your group of friends would sit back and think you were cool bey threatening to kill their family... but I suppose a few in your group of pranksters would not say anything to you about how they feel.

Cool
Cool

@mkd09 @Cool I beg to differ.. yes, it takes a group to form a culture, but it all can be started by one individual. Incognito came into the organization with a reputation, and because of that reputation, I would argue that much weaker players prescribed and embraced what he brought to the locker room, afraid of being called weak.. just like they are doing to Martin.

meandmesa
meandmesa

@a52wkhi  And once again dumbsh!t, just because Glazer is Jewish doesn't mean he is asking the right questions just because Jews know about skinheads.  God your effin dumb.


meandmesa
meandmesa

@a52wkhi WTF are you talking about?  Did you frickin watch the interview?  Jay Glazer is the one asking the questions idiot not a skinhead.  Effin morons posting all over the place here.

inthepresent
inthepresent

@meandmesa @Huskerstildeath @OK he called him a skinhead. by definition, Jewish people cannot be skinheads. unless i have misunderstood the meaning of skinhead all these years. 

that's all he was saying.