Miami Dolphins guard Richie Incognito (68) pauses between plays during the second quarter in their NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills in Orchard Park, New York in this file photo taken November 15, 2012. The Miami Dolphins issued their third statement of the day late Sunday night in the situation involving Jonathan Martin, announcing the suspension of offensive lineman Richie Incognito for conduct detrimental to the team. Earlier in the day, the Dolphins said Martin, an offensive lineman, might not return to the team. (REUTERS: Doug Benz/Files)
Text messages that Miami Dolphins offensive lineman Richie Incognito wrote to teammate Jonathan Martin include racial slurs and threats, according to multiple reports.
Martin, who left the Dolphins last week amid reports of bullying from teammates, specifically fears retribution from Incognito, according to ESPN, and shared the content of the texts, and perhaps some voice messages, with his family, the team and the NFL.
The team requested an investigation by the league and there have been conflicting reports whether the NFL Players Association was investigating the situation or merely gathering information.
The Dolphins announced Sunday that Incognito was suspended indefinitely. The Dolphins are expected to place Martin on the non-football injury list as soon as Tuesday, according to the NFL Network.
All things considered at this time, it is entirely possible that neither Martin nor Incognito will play for the Dolphins again. Incognito’s career with any team seems in jeopardy.
“We believe in maintaining a culture of respect for one another and, as a result, we believe this decision is in the best interest of the organization at this time,” the Dolphins’ statement said. “As we noted earlier, we reached out to the NFL to conduct an objective and thorough review. We will continue to work with the league on this matter.”
ESPN reported that Martin was intimidated by Incognito into paying $15,000 toward a trip to Las Vegas. Martin did not go on the trip but still surrendered the money.
Among the text messages that Incognito reportedly sent to Martin include some of which Incognito refers to Martin, who is biracial, as a “half-(racial slur)” and also includes disturbing threats against him and his family.
According to the reports, Martin sincerely believes that Incognito may be capable of following on the threats and it is in his best interest to stay away from the team.
Upper-level NFL officials met Monday morning as they begin an investigation in the case. League representatives who have access to the texts believe the investigation could lead to new policies and practices regarding hazing, verbal harassment and stricter codes concerning financial harassment. The new policies could affect practices in which veterans force rookies to pick up excessive tabs and bills as a rite of passage.
Before being suspended Sunday, Incognito took to Twitter, writing “I want my name CLEARED.” He took direct aim at Schefter, writing: “Stop slandering my name. You hide behind “sources” who are not man enough to put their name behind the BS you report.”