Richie Incognito named ambassador for anti-bullying organization despite history of bullying
Incognito was at the center of the Miami Dolphins bullying scandal in 2013
Former NFL offensive lineman Richie Incognito, who was one of the players at the center of the Miami Dolphins bullying scandal back in 2013, was named this week as the "first national ambassador" of an anti-bullying organization based in Los Angeles, Calif.
The organization is called Boo2Bullying, and it states on its website that its goal is "to eradicate bullying, intolerance and discrimination by educating schools and parents about accepting diversity and giving young people the tools to connect with and positively impact those around them."
Incognito stated in a press release that bullying is a "national crisis" and added that "I can personally relate to it from both sides -- being bullied and being accused of being a bully," according to ESPN.com.
He stated in the release that he was bullied in high school.
"A group of guys actually threw rocks at me," Incognito said. "My dad told me not to worry and to focus on football. So I grinded, and at this point I was really starting to excel. After a few weeks of not letting it bother me, I actually became friends with the guys that bullied me. They are still my friends today, and anytime I go home now, I make sure we find some time to catch up. It just goes to show what can happen when you actually take the time to get to know someone, instead of treating them a certain way because they are different than you."
In early 2014, Incognito was found by NFL investigators to have engaged in a "pattern of harassment" of former Dolphins teammate Jonathan Martin during the prior season. The investigator's report concluded that Incognito and two other teammates made racial slurs toward an assistant trainer. Incognito was eventually suspended for conduct detrimental to the team, and sat out the 2014 season as he went unsigned.
He returned to the NFL the following year with the Bills, where he excelled for three seasons. However, he was also accused by Jaguars defensive lineman Yannick Ngakoue of using racial slurs in Ngakoue's direction during a game.
Incognito announced his intention to retire at the end of the season, but then asked the Bills for his release so he could become a free agent and sign with another team. Earlier this offseason, Incognito was involuntarily detained in a mental health facility afterat a gym, during which he allegedly threw a tennis ball and a dumbbell at another gym-goer and stated that he was being spied on by the government. He was eventually released and returned to preparing himself for another NFL season.
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