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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Richie Incognito seemed genuinely blindsided by Jonathan Martin situation

Jonathan Martin Richie Incognito

Over 1,000 text messages that were exchanged between Miami Dolphins offensive linemen Jonathan Martin and Richie Incognito from October 2012 to November 2013 were published by The Big Lead on Monday. I have combed through all of them, and the impression I get is that there is an entire side to the story that still needs to be told.

Incognito obviously likes to party. We have seen video proof that shows he acts like a jackass sometimes, but that doesn’t mean his relationship with Martin could not have been misunderstood. The text messages make it obvious that Martin is not a party animal. Incognito frequently asked him to go out to clubs. There were times when Martin would agree to meet up, but a lot of others when he made excuses like being too tired or already having plans to hang out with his parents.

Most of the stuff Incognito and Martin sent back and forth was standard banter you would expect from two NFL players who are teammates and friends. A lot of it was incredibly inappropriate, but Martin went along with most of it. As recently as Oct. 23, 2013, Martin sent Incognito a meme of a woman with a dog that read “I will murder your whole f—ing family!”

Martin was obviously joking, and you could argue that he was just trying to fit in with Incognito and fulfill NFL stereotypes. After all, Incognito did reportedly leave him racially-charged voicemails that were threatening in nature. However, it is almost impossible to get the feeling that Incognito was being genuinely hateful or racist after reading the text logs.

When Martin left the Dolphins after an alleged cafeteria prank by his teammates at the end of October, Incognito sent him a series of text messages to ask how he was doing. Martin eventually responded by assuring Incognito that he does not blame him or any of his teammates in particular.

“Yeah I’m good man,” he wrote. “It’s insane bro just know I don’t blame you guys at all it’s just the culture around football and the locker room got to me a little. … Btw, never check yourself into a mental hospital.”

Incognito continued to be supportive via text after hearing back from Martin. It even seemed like he was trying to empathize with the former Stanford star.

“I hear ya it’s a lot to take in I’ve checked myself in before I had to threaten to beat everyone up for them to let me out,” Incognito wrote. “Not fun.”

“Yeah bro it was the worst,” Martin replied. “I almost snapped and started breaking s—.”

“Hahaha that’s exactly what I was feeling,” Incoginto wrote back. “The brain is a tricky thing. My brain has been to far out places and back.”

A few chummy texts were even exchanged a few days later. When Incognito asked Martin what was up with an ESPN report about the NFLPA looking into his case, Martin said he had “nothing to do with it” and had not spoken to anyone about his personal situation. Incognito then asked Martin if they could talk because he was getting killed in the media, and that was the last text The Big Lead shared.

Here’s the bottom line: It’s very possible that Martin was going along with most of what Incognito said and acting like he was cool with it all because he wanted to fit in. But after reading the texts, you could easily make the argument that Incognito had no idea. The narrative has changed significantly in my opinion.

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