While a number of people were appalled that Miami Dolphins offensive lineman Richie Incognito used racially-charged language in the voicemail he allegedly left Jonathan Martin, several of his current and former teammates do not seem bothered by that aspect of the ongoing saga. In fact, one former Dolphin reportedly told the Miami Herald’s Armando Salguero that Incognito was viewed by his teammates as an ‘honorary’ black man.
“Richie is honorary,” the player told Salguero on Wednesday. “I don’t expect you to understand because you’re not black. But being a black guy, being a brother is more than just about skin color. It’s about how you carry yourself. How you play. Where you come from. What you’ve experienced. A lot of things.”
If that sounds puzzling, consider this. Martin, who is bi-racial, supposedly is considered less black than Incognito. Salguero added that “multiple people” told him Martin was not accepted by the black players in the way that Incognito was. Martin is Stanford-educated and comes from a family filled with Ivy League graduates. According to one former Dolphins employee, his background led to teammates viewing him as “soft.”
That theory could help explain why several African-American players who are currently playing for Miami have defended Incognito, despite his alleged use of the term “half-n***er” in the infamous voicemail.
“I don’t have a problem with Richie,” Mike Wallace said this week. “I love Richie.”
Cornerback Brent Grimes and tight end Michael Egnew both stated rather emphatically that Incognito is not a racist. On Tuesday, Ricky Williams — another former teammate of Incognito’s who is also black — said there is no way Incognito can be racist.
As you can see, this story has taken on a life of its own. We’ve gone from a player being bullied a white guy being viewed as an “honorary black guy.” And underneath it all, we still have a player who was allegedly threatened and hazed to the point where he left the team. It’s no wonder people are having trouble understanding the dynamics of it all.
Full Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin history:
Jonathan Martin reportedly went AWOL after cafeteria prank
Jonathan Martin reportedly called ‘Big Weirdo,’ bullied by teammates
Richie Incognito said to be one of Jonathan Martin’s main tormenters
Jonathan Martin-Richie Incognito text message conversation
Jonathan Martin reportedly left Dolphins because of emotional issues, not bullying
Jonathan Martin ‘genuinely scared’ of what Richie Incognito might do to him
Richie Incognito suspended indefinitely by Dolphins
Richie Incognito reportedly told Jonathan Martin ‘I’ll kill you’ in racially charged voicemail
Report: Richie Incognito will never play for Dolphins again
Video: Richie Incognito dropped N-bomb during fit of rage at a bar
Antrel Rolle: Jonathan Martin is a ‘grown-ass man,’ just as much to blame as Incognito