Richie Incognito flew to Los Angeles on Friday, possibly to get away from the mess with the Miami Dolphins. He may be meeting with his agent and he may be meeting with PR/crisis management experts. Whatever the case, it seems like someone is assisting his efforts, because finally a story came out on Friday that makes him look slightly better.
ESPN cited a source who says that Incognito feels “betrayed” by Jonathan Martin, who left the Dolphins nearly two weeks ago in response to what he felt was persistent harassment. Martin turned over evidence of the mistreatment in the form of voicemail and text messages, which led the Dolphins to suspend Incognito indefinitely.
The source told ESPN that Incognito viewed his relationship with Martin as an older brother giving a younger brother tough love.
“It’s probably a combination of totally blindsided and a bit betrayed,” the source said of Incognito’s current state. “He’s shocked. He can’t believe this happened and thinks it probably could have been avoided.”
Clearly Incognito had the wrong read on the situation if he thought everything between him and Martin was fine. He also probably enjoyed tormenting Martin and others, which is why he did it. For anyone to believe that Incognito was ignorant about what he was doing and its effects would be naive.
But this still comes down to the same thing, and most people fall on one side of the debate or the other: either you think Martin wimped out and didn’t handle the bullying the proper way, or you find Incognito’s treatment of his teammate to be totally inappropriate and unproductive. I know which side I fall on, and it’s not one that gives Incognito a pass for giving his little brother tough love.
Full Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin history: