Some players support Incognito; HS coach not surprised Martin bullied
On Sunday, the Dolphins suspended Richie Incognito indefinitely for bullying teammate Jonathan Martin, but several NFL players have already come to Incognito's defense.
In texts and voicemails Martin made available to the Dolphins and the NFL, Incognito used racial slurs when referring to Martin. Additionally, There are several instances of threats, and one exchange in which Incognito refers to defecating in Martin's mouth. Incognito also made reference to tracking down members of Martin's family and harming them.
The NFL and NFLPA are investigating the matter but several NFL players have already come to Incognito's defense.
Former Dolphins teammate Karlos Dansby, now a linebacker with the Cardinals, told the Arizona Republic that “Richie was a down-to-earth guy. I hate all this came out about him. It’s really attacking his character. I hope Martin doesn’t have any backlash from this from the rest of his teammates.”
And Dolphins wide receiver Mike Wallace told NFL.com: "I know both [Martin and Incognito] personally. I like both of them. I love Richie. I think he's a great guy. I don't think he was out of hand. I have a lot of respect for Richie. I wish he was here."
Wallace says he doesn't think that team pranks and hazing went too far.
Meanwhile, Incognito's high school coach, Jim Ewan, told the Republic that "[Incognito] wasn’t a Boy Scout. But it was nothing like you’re seeing in the paper. ... I don’t think he would have ever been voted Mr. Congeniality, but he got along with everyone.
“There really wasn’t anything here," Ewan said. "I just feel bad for everyone involved. It’s just a bad deal. It’s bad for Richie. It’s bad for the Martin kid. It’s bad for the Dolphins. It’s a shame it got to this point. It’s too bad.”
Giants safety Antrel Rolle said that while Incognito was "absolutely" in the wrong, Martin is just as much to blame for what happened. “First of all, know something like that would never, ever happen to myself, because I wouldn’t allow it to happen," Rolle told WFAN Tuesday.
"You know, at this level, you’re a man. You’re not a little boy. You’re not a freshman in college. You’re a man. So I think everything has its limits. So there’s no way that another man is gonna make me pay for something that I choose not to pay for.”
"You're a grown-ass man. You need to stand up for yourself. ...
"Hopefully he’s able to bounce back and recover from all that has happened and understand it, and take awareness of, you know, that, you’re a grown-a– man,” Rolle continued. “You need to stand up for yourself.”
But Cardinals defensive tackle Darnell Dockett knows Incognito as one of the NFL's dirtiest players.
“He’s been getting away with a lot of stuff,” Dockett said. “His whole makeup is playing dirty and trying to hurt guys. Like I say, just Google it up. There are so many incidents where he’s trying to hurt guys and physically bully guys. I’m glad certain guys are standing up for themselves. I hope the guy from the Dolphins is able to get some help, rebound and continue his career.”
Martin's high school coach wasn't surprised that Martin was targeted.
"Bullies usually go after people like him,” Harvard-Westlake School coach Vic Eumont told the Palm Beach Post's Andrew Abramson. “With his background, he’s a perfect target. ...
“Before [Martin] wasn’t around Nebraska, LSU kind of guys,”Eumont said. “He’s always been around Stanford, Duke, Rice kind of players. ... “In locker rooms full of Nebraska, LSU, Southern Cal players, Miami players, they’ll look at this as a weakness. If he makes it through all this, and if he was encouraged to come back, he’d come back with a vengeance. ...
“I can see where somebody that’s a bully will take advantage of [Martin], and rather than him say anything would just hold it inside. I can see where if somebody was bullying him he would take that to heart, and be concerned and think it was his fault."
Eumont thinks the Dolphins should try to "save" Martin. "If ever there’s a kid worth saving, he’s one of them.”
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