We don’t have all of the facts regarding the Martin/Incognito fiasco in Miami just yet, but it sure as hell isn’t looking too good for 30-year old Dolphins guard Richie Incognito. Today, amid allegations surrounding Jonathan Martin’s complaint against his Miami teammate, the Dolphins suspended Incognito indefinitely. And with good reason.
Early last week, the second-year offensive tackle Martin reportedly left the Dolphins team facility in rage due to allegedly bullying from the eight-year pro. Among the allegations, which have been going on for some time but are just now surfacing, is Martin supposedly being forced to pay a $15,000 bill for a summer Vegas trip that Martin had not even participated in.
Fearing “retribution, primarily from Incognito” if he did not pay the bill was the main reason Martin had left the team facility. He has yet to return to the team’s facility and has been spending time with his family and receiving help for emotional issues while away.
Incognito, of course, defended himself on Twitter, telling ESPN’s Adam Schefter to “stop slandering my name.”
Martin filed a player misconduct complaint to the Miami organization, and has yet to speak out about the situation, though Incognito claims that he and Martin exchanged texts.
This is all mere speculation, on my part, but it’s tough not to believe Martin’s side of the story. Especially given Incognito’s suspension and his controversial past as one of the league’s “Dirtiest players” over the past five seasons––players, coaches and fans all voted for him via a league-wide poll. Plus, he’s had his fair share of fines and criticism for his play over the years due to on-field conduct. During his four-year stint with the St. Louis Rams from 2006-09 (he was drafted by STL in the third round of the 2006 Draft), Incognito was flagged a total of 38 times, including seven unnecessary roughness calls. That’s the most by any other player during that four-year span.
Incognito’s alleged treatment of his teammate Martin also has included threatening texts and voicemails with racial slurs and derogatory comments, according to FOX Sports. He had threatened Martin’s family members in the voicemails/texts that the NFLPA had been made aware of in an investigation.
This treatment of Martin sure makes you question the leadership in Miami’s locker room, whether that be from head coach Joe Philbin or from Martin and Incognito’s fellow teammates. There’s a difference between “hazing” rookies and harassing players such as Martin. I believe this falls closer under the category of harassment/bullying, given Martin is in his second year and no longer a rookie.
Even if Martin had still been a rookie when this all took place, it appears these alleged texts and voicemails would still fall under bullying. And no man, or human for that matter, should be treated the way Incognito appears to have treated Martin.
If this all proves true following the NFL’s investigation into the matter, do you think a life-time ban from the league would be too harsh? At the very least you can expect the Dolphins organization to promptly cut Incognito from the team. This is not typical locker room etiquette of a winning NFL team.