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Ricky Williams: Richie Incognito is not a racist, maybe Jonathan Martin doesn’t belong in NFL

Ricky Williams DolphinsRicky Williams, who played with Richie Incognito when the two were with the Miami Dolphins in 2010, provided an interesting take on the Jonathan Martin bullying saga on Tuesday. During an interview with KGMZ-FM in San Francisco, Williams refused to blame Incognito. In fact, he argued that bullying is essentially what NFL players are expected to do on a daily basis.

“How is bullying something that’s even mentioned regarding the NFL?” Williams asked, via Chris Wesseling of Around the League. “Because that’s kind of what we’re taught to do — at least on the field — is to bully the guy across from us so we can win the football game.

“It’s kind of what we’re subjected to on a day-to-day basis that most people will never be able to understand. …  And I’m not saying that it’s bad. I’m saying it just really speaks to what it takes to be a professional football player. And to me there’s no room to play the victim or to be bullied or to even have that discussion when it comes to the NFL. If you’re having that discussion, it just means that maybe you don’t belong in the NFL.”

Williams went on to discuss how he decided playing football wasn’t the career for him nine years ago. However, he accused Martin of using Incognito as a “scapegoat” and an excuse for why he chose to leave the team. In other words, Williams believes Martin would have left with or without the disturbing voicemails Incognito allegedly left on his phone.

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Richie Incognito makes first comments, says ‘this will pass’

WSVN-TV – 7NEWS Miam Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco

Richie Incognito Richie Incognito was tracked down for his first comments since being suspended indefinitely by the Miami Dolphins on Sunday for his alleged mistreatment of teammate Jonathan Martin, who left the team last week.

WSVN-7’s Alex DiPrato caught up with Incognito as the lineman was leaving an appointment in Weston, Fla., on Tuesday.

Incognito told DiPrato he was “doing well” and then made some additional remarks.

“You know what, I’m just trying to weather the storm right now,” Incognito said. “This will pass.”

Though this is the biggest story in sports right now, Incognito’s probably right. Riley Cooper has been playing for the Philadelphia Eagles all season despite the video of him dropping an n-bomb on someone being released in July. Michael Vick made it back to the NFL (though he is still hated) despite being locked up in prison for financing a dog fighting ring.

Incognito already had multiple strikes against him when the Dolphins picked him up in 2010, but he’s played well enough in the past four seasons that we’re guessing this won’t be it for his NFL career. He might not be back with the Dolphins, but someone may pick him up down the line.

Oh, and to really upset some of you, WSVN says Incognito was inspecting a new Ferrari delivered to his home on Tuesday.

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Dolphins coaches reportedly asked Richie Incognito to toughen up Jonathan Martin

Richie IncognitoMiami Dolphins coaches asked Richie Incognito to toughen up Jonathan Martin, and it is believed the veteran guard took his directions too far with the young player.

A new report from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel says Incognito, who is considered a leader on the team’s offensive line, was encouraged to make a phone call to the 2012 second-round draft pick during the spring after Martin missed two days of OTA workouts. The Sun-Sentinel says Incognito was encouraged to make a call that would get Martin “into the fold.” It’s believed that in response, Incognito made the now-infamous call where he called Martin a “half-n—er” and threatened to kill him.

Sources admitted to the Sun-Sentinel that Incognito took matters too far with Martin.

Martin has been away from the team for over a week after abruptly leaving following a cafeteria prank pulled on him by the team’s other linemen. There is no word regarding when he might return to the team, though he has been said to be “genuinely scared” of what Incognito might do to him.

Incognito, who has been with the Dolphins since 2010, is a member of the team’s leadership council. He was suspended by the team indefinitely on Sunday night.

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Jonathan Martin’s high school coach: ‘Bullies usually go after people like him’

Jonathan MartinWhile most people have been shocked to hear that an NFL player — let alone a 315-pound offensive lineman — could be treated the way Richie Incognito allegedly treated Miami Dolphins teammate Jonathan Martin, Martin’s high school football coach does not seem all that surprised. In an interview with the Palm Beach Post on Tuesday, Vic Eumont discussed the situation involving his former player.

Eumont, who coached Martin at an upscale private school in California called Harvard-Westlake, said he can understand why Martin would have trouble adapting to the NFL culture.

“Before he wasn’t around Nebraska, LSU kind of guys,” Eumont explained. “He’s always been around Stanford, Duke, Rice kind of players. … In locker rooms full of Nebraska, LSU, Southern Cal players, Miami players, they’ll look at (his quiet personality) as a weakness.”

In other words, Eumont feels the guys from schools like Nebraska — where Incognito played — are a bit more rugged. Martin, who went to Stanford to play football despite being accepted into Harvard Law School, is more of the polite, quiet type.

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Antrel Rolle: Jonathan Martin is a ‘grown-ass man,’ just as much to blame as Richie Incognito

Jonathan Martin Richie Incognito

New York Giants defensive back Antrel Rolle has never been shy about speaking his mind. As expected, he had an animated opinion on Tuesday when asked about the situation going on between Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin. Just don’t expect many people to agree with it.

While many have blasted Incognito for allegedly hurling racial slurs at Martin and threatening to kill him, Rolle said he feels Martin is just as much to blame for the incident since he did not stick up for himself.

“Was Richie Incognito wrong? Absolutely. I think the other guy is just as much to blame because he’s allowed this to happen,” Rolle said on his weekly WFAN appearance, via Ebenezer Samuel of the NY Daily News. “This football league is not built of men who try to bully other men. You’re a grown-ass man. You should be able to stand up for yourself.”

Some would argue that Rolle’s opinion highlights one of the main issues the NFL has with its culture. Rather than simply ripping Incognito for taking the concept of harassment and rookie hazing too far, Rolle decided to blame the victim. Based on Rolle’s standards, all NFL players should be macho enough to stand up for themselves.

“Something like that would never ever happen to myself, because I would never allow it,” Rolle added. “At this level, you’re a man.”

Rolle also noted that hazing is “acceptable” as long as it is not taken to a personal level, which I think most would agree with. Giving a rookie an embarrassing haircut or forcing him to carry shoulder pads is one thing. Harassing him, using racial slurs, insulting his family and threatening him is an entirely different concept. Martin is not less of a man for reaching his boiling point, despite what Rolle and others may believe.

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Miami Dolphins seemingly pull all Richie Incognito products from Pro Shop

Richie-Incognito-Pro-Shop

Richie Incognito has not been officially released by the Miami Dolphins, although a recent report indicated he has almost certainly played his last snap for the team. In order to avoid a potential grievance, the Dolphins will likely wait for the NFL and NFL Players Association to complete their investigation before making a move. That does not mean they have taken no steps to phase Incognito out.

As TMZ first noted, a search for “Richie Incognito” on the official website of the Dolphins’ Pro Shop turns up no results. It would appear that the team has stopped selling any jerseys or memorabilia pertaining to the 30-year-old offensive lineman.

It’s possible that the Dolphins did not have any Incognito merchandise for sale before he was suspended, but it seems unlikely. When you search the names of several other offensive lineman — including Jonathan Martin — you have the option of at least buying a plaque with that player’s photo on it. We saw the Patriots do this with Aaron Hernandez merchandise shortly after he was arrested in June.

A representative from the Pro Shop told Larry Brown Sports that she had no information on whether the team intentionally pulled Incognito products from its store.

Previously:
Video: Richie Incognito drops N-bomb during shirtless fit of rage
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

Former teammates Karlos Dansby, Josh Brown share thoughts on Richie Incognito

Richie Incognito DolphinsRichie Incognito has been the talk of the NFL this week, with a number of coaches, players and analysts sharing their opinions on his alleged harassment of Miami Dolphins teammate Jonathan Martin. Many people seem to share the opinion of New York Giants kicker Josh Brown, who played with Incognito in college at Nebraska and with the St. Louis Rams a few years back.

“None of it shocks me,” Brown said Monday, via the NY Daily News. “I don’t know any details obviously. The league hasn’t released anything. But Richie seems to be a person with a tortured soul. He’s had these issues for quite awhile, and it’s sad.

“It seems like this is something that has been haunting him for more than a decade. He was always a very emotional player, very reactive. Obviously, I have a lot of assumptions in my head about what was going on (in Miami), and I’m probably going to be right.”

There’s a fine line between playing with a chip on your shoulder and acting inappropriately, and Incognito has crossed it on numerous occasions. The video we saw on Monday of the 30-year-old stomping around with his shirt off speaks to what Brown was referring to.

Still, there are a few people who seem surprised by reports that Incognito left Martin a racially-charged voicemail and threatened to kill him. Arizona Cardinals linebacker Karlos Dansby, who played with Incognito in Miami, is one of them.

“Richie was a down-to-earth guy,” Dansby told Kent Somers of The Arizona Republic. “I hate all this came out about him. It’s really attacking his character. I hope Martin doesn’t have any backlash from this from the rest of his teammates.”

Incognito should be the one dealing with backlash, not Martin. In fact, you could argue that the situation may not have spiraled out of control if Incognito had to deal with backlash from his teammates and coaches sooner — or ever. It’s normal for players to want to defend teammates and former teammates, but Incognito hardly seems “down to earth.” He’s obviously a man with some issues.

H/T Pro Football Talk