Richie Incognito, the man in the midst of a national firestorm over alleged bullying and abuse of a teammate, broke his silence Tuesday, telling WSVN Channel 7: “I’m just trying to weather the storm right now. This will pass.”
When asked about the leaked voicemails, in which he reportedly called teammate Jonathan Martin by a racial slur, Incognito gave no comment.
Incognito was suspended late Sunday, although the Dolphins will not say if it is with or without pay. The Miami Herald learned Monday that Incognito will never play for the Dolphins again. He is on the suspended/reserve list.
On Tuesday, they filled his spot on the roster by signing guard David Arkin, who was previously on the Dallas Cowboys’ practice squad.
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Despite expectations that he would be placed on the non-football injury list, Martin remained on the active roster Tuesday – meaning he will collect his $35,733 weekly paycheck this week, as usual.
Meanwhile, the NFL Players Association on Tuesday weighed into the mess, releasing a statement that demonstrates the fine line it must walk, seeing as the union represents both players involved.
“We expect that the NFL and its clubs create a safe and professional workplace for all players and that owners, executives, coaches and players should set the best standards and examples,” the NFLPA said in a statement on its website. “It is the duty of this union to hold the clubs and teams accountable for safety and professionalism in the workplace.
“As the representative organization of all players, the NFLPA will insist on a fair investigation for all involved,” the statement continued. “We will continue to remain in contact with the impacted players, their representatives and player leadership.”
The story has grown so large that even White House spokesman Jay Carney was asked about it at his daily briefing. President Obama has made bullying prevention a point of emphasis.
“I’m confident [Obama is] aware of it, but I just don’t have a response from the president on it,” Carney said.
Miami Herald reporter Marc Caputo contributed to this report.