Richie Incognito, the embattled Miami Dolphins Offensive Guard, voiced disgust with his situation via Twitter on Wednesday. He has been embroiled in a hornet’s nest of media attention since being accused of bullying former teammate Jonathan Martin. The NFL has retained the services of lawyer Ted Wells to investigate and compile an independent report about the entire issue. Incognito hinted that the report will exonerate him from any wrongdoing. Meanwhile, he used the popular social media site to blast Martin, and others involved in the current media frenzy.
In a series of recent tweets, Incognito lashed out at his supposed antagonists. He accused Kenny Zuckerman, Martin’s agent, of inappropriately releasing confidential voice mails to ESPN. Incognito meanwhile claims that Martin confided in him suicidal thoughts.
Martin, who also played Offensive Guard for the Miami NFL team, left the Dolphins on October 28, 2013, to deal with what he called “personal issues.” Supposedly, those issues arose from Incognito’s racist and antagonistic taunts. An inquiry found Incognito to indeed be a discipline problem, though most in the locker room defended him, and the team suspended him since at least November 3, 2013. Dolphins owner, Stephen Ross, recently stated that he doubts either player will return to the Miami Dolphins program.
In spite of all the media attention, Incognito has been fairly reserved until recently. He changed course on Wednesday by releasing a series of tweets criticizing his former teammate and others affiliated with the Miami Dolphins organization. In his tweets, Incognito accused Martin of betraying him and severely damaging his reputation. His criticisms of Martin accuse him of dishonesty among other things. In one tweet, Incognito said he “apologizes” for being a good friend and teammate. Richie Incognito’s blast of Twitter attacks on Twitter contrast sharply with his statements about Martin last week. He previously tweeted that he supported Martin’s return to the NFL in 2014.
Incognito had long claimed a close friendship with Martin, and stated that the supposed bullying was no more than the rough but lighthearted fun which is common in NFL locker rooms. His lawyer claims that Martin issued his own abuse toward Incognito, and that the former Dolphin is not an innocent victim. The New York Daily News released an article on February 4 showing more than 1,000 texts between Incognito and Martin. The texts indeed suggested a complex, but fairly stable friendship.
DeMaurice Smith, Executive Director for National Football League Players Association (NFLPA), asked all sides to cease taking shots at one another until Wells’ report is publicized.
Although Richie Incognito has technically been reinstated, many speculate that he will become a free agent this March. Martin’s contract stipulates that he owes the Dolphins two more years as a player. At any rate, a reunion between the two former teammates appears unlikely, at least in Miami. The one issue the former teammates have publicly agreed about is their respect for Dolphins’ draft pick, Michael Sam. Sam made news by publicly announcing that he is gay. Martin and Incognito both blasted on Twitter their respect for his courage to do so. They both wished him well in the NFL. It seems unlikely that that public support for the incoming rookie is enough of a commonality to heal the rift between them.