Richie Incognito told his side of the saga that has captivated the nation Sunday, telling Fox Sports that Jonathan Martin sent his own share of threatening — albeit playfully, Incognito believed — text messages.
“The week before this went down, Jonathan texted me on my phone, ‘I will murder your whole [expletive] family,’ ” Incognito told Jay Glazer. “Now, did I think that Jonathan Martin was going to murder my family? Not one bit.”
Incognito explained that he knew those words were “coming from a brother,” and that it’s simply how he and Martin communicated with each other. Glazer said that the text message still exists, and he has seen it.
“This isn’t an issue about bullying,” Incognito said. “This is an issue of my and Jon’s relationship where I’ve taken stuff too far. I didn’t intend to hurt him.”
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After Incognito’s interview, Martin’s attorney, David Cornwell on Twitter put out that the language used by Martin was part of an Internet meme, writing “JMart’s text 2 Richie Incognito. ... U decide.” Attached is a photo with a crazed dog with “I will murder your whole [expletive] family” as a caption.”
Incognito touched on a whole range of issues with Glazer, although he declined comment when asked if he was instructed by Dolphins coaches to toughen Martin up.
Among the highlights:
• Martin showed no signs that football or the locker room were getting to him in the days and weeks leading up to his departure.
• Incognito on the infamous voicemail, in which he called Martin a half-[N-word]: “When I see that voicemail ... I’m embarrassed by it. I’m embarrassed by my actions.”
• Incognito, on the fact that most people believe he’s a racist: “I’m not a racist. To judge me by that one word is wrong.” He added that while the racial slur is used a lot in the Dolphins’ locker room, including by Martin, it’s unacceptable.
• Incognito, on his behavior toward Martin: “My actions were coming from a place of love.”
He also said that, while his past behavior would paint him as a loose cannon, “I’m a good person.”
Rather than resenting Martin, Incognito said he wants to give his friend “a big hug” and apologize if his behavior was hurtful.
After the interview, Glazer held up a stack of paper that he said was a transcript of 1,142 text messages between Incognito and Martin, most of them offensive.
However, a source who has seen the text correspondence said there were more along the lines of the one revealed Sunday, plus many sexually explicit ones.
Meanwhile, there were multiple reports Sunday casting more doubt on the future of most everyone in a position of power in the Dolphins’ headquarters.
The Miami Herald first reported that everyone’s job was in jeopardy if Ted Wells’ independent inquiry shows malfeasance.
On Sunday, Pro Football Talk reported that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross was “apoplectic” — not to mention steaming mad — about the ongoing imbroglio. Mike Florio’s website and NFL Network reported that in league sources, the belief is both Joe Philbin and Jeff Ireland will lose their jobs over this national embarrassment.
A CBSSports.com report Sunday gave context to remarks made by Tyson Clabo and Danny Watkins the previous day, when both said they never saw any evidence of physical abuse.
The reason, if the report from CBSSports.com is accurate: the alleged attack on Martin occurred in 2012. Clabo and Watkins joined the team in 2013.
Also, the report said that Wells’ review will be exhaustive and will reach all levels of the organization.