Richie Incognito was allegedly asked by Miami Dolphins coaches to “toughen up” teammate Jonathan Martin, who has accused him of bullying.
Incognito was suspended from the Miami Dolphins indefinitely, after Martin’s reps brought to the team’s attention he had been harassed by Incognito.
The Dolphins originally dismissed the allegations, but called on the NFL to investigate after they received documents corroborating the accusations.
Jonathan Martin reportedly struggled with coming forward because of fear of backlash.
The new allegations that Richie Incognito was asked to toughen up Martin were published by the Fort Lauderdale newpaper Sun Sentinel.
The paper cites sources that say “communication took place when Martin skipped two days of the team’s Organized Team Activity Program.”
The Sentinel reports, “Incognito was encouraged by coaches to make a call that would ‘get him into the fold,’ one source said.”
However, the paper says Incognito might have taken those orders too far.
Richie Incognito has not said much, except for a rant on Twitter asking for his name to be cleared. When asked by reporters outside his home he calmly stated:
“You know what, I’m just trying to weather the storm right now… this will pass.”
Jonathan Martin left the Miami Dolphins abruptly to spend time with his family. Nobody knew that he was being allegedly harassed.
One of the incidents reported took place when Martin attempted to join teammates for lunch, they all got up and left the table. Incognito and others were part of the group.
The tabloid website TMZ released this video, in which Richie Incognito is heard screaming profanity after profanity at a bar, including the N-word, which he allegedly used in a text message sent to Martin.
David Kolowski, a former college teammate of Incognito, says he is not shocked by the new allegations against him.
Kolowski played football with Richie Incognito at the University of Nebraska. He said Incognito bullied college teammates and one of them walked off the field, according to CBS.
“Richie would kind of always take it to another level. The name-calling and some of the physical taunting and things of that nature were pretty commonplace.” Kolowski added.
Antrel Rolle of the New York Giants told CBS New York radio station WFAN:
“Was Richie Incognito wrong? Absolutely. But I think the other guy is just as much to blame as Richie because he allowed it to happen. At this level, you’re a grown a** man, you know? You need to stand up for yourself. There is no punking that should be going on at the NFL level. Hazing is one thing; bullying is another.”
The NFL and Miami Dolphins are investigating the allegations.
What do you think about the Richie Incognito bullying accusations? Are you surprised this sort of harassment can happen among grown men? What should the NFL do?