Dolphins guard Richie Incognito was accused last week of hazing and bullying former teammate Jonathan Martin, who quit the Dolphins on October 28.
Martin’s attorney, David Cornwall, released a statement on Thursday claiming Martin endured harassment that went beyond the normal locker room hazing. Cornwall added that his client “endured a malicious physical attack on him by a teammate, and daily vulgar comments.”
Fox Sports sat down with Incognito on Saturday in an interview that aired today, the first the guard gave since the story broke. During the discussions, Incognito explained that he isn’t a racist and his relationship with Martin is still going well. He added that much of what has been reported in the media is misleading.
Incognito described the Dolphins’ locker room environment as a place where racial slurs and threats are considered acceptable. ESPN notes that the player also deflected blame for many of his actions against Martin during the interview, even accusing Martin of using equally crass language.
The football player explained of the controversial voicemail he left Martin, “When words are put in context, I understand why a lot of eyebrows get raised. But people don’t know how Jon and I communicate to one another.” He also denied bullying Martin, calling himself Martin’s most supportive teammate.
He confirmed he left the voice mail message in April, which included a racial slur and a threat to kill Martin. However, Incognito claimed his actions “came from a place of love,” saying, “I’m not a racist, and to judge me by that one word is wrong.”
The NFL is investigating the relationship between Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin, who left the Dolphins because of emotional issues stemming from the alleged harassment. It isn’t the first controversy Incognito has seen in the NFL. The league spoke with him last year for two incidents, one of which involved the alleged molestation of a female volunteer at a Dolphins charity golf tournament.