One Year Later: A look Back at Richie Icognito Getting Kicked off the Team Because of Jonathan Martin

With all the hooplah lately over Ray Rice and Adrian Peterson, we at Dolphins Truth thought it might be a good time to look back about a year ago and re-examine the Jonathan Martin scandal.

As a quick reminder, Richie Incognito was never caught on tape punching his wife nor beating his child.  He merely teased his friend…a friend who teased him equally as much.

J-Mart still hasn’t found his smile in San Fran.

With so many articles and versions out there, it’s hard to find an honest recap of the situation.  But here is what happened:  Jonathan Martin quit on the Dolphins and walked away from his team.  Period. The story begins there.

And should have ended there.

But instead of it ending there, Martin was only beginning.  After quitting on his team, he decided to air his grievances publicly.  First he quit, and then he tattled.  Not the other way around.

Quitting the team is a gutless, cowardly act.   But if you are going to quit,at least air your grievances first and hope that change occurs.  Don’t quit first and then blab.  Don’t save text messages and voicemails for months at a time and then send them to a total stranger from ESPN.  What kind of person does that?

The media was outraged.  The Dolphins suspended Incognito.  The NFL hired some NY City lawyer named Ted Wells to look into this.  And at this point, all we were going by was Jonathan Martin’s side of the story.

The media’s one-sided obsession with poor little Johnny Martin culminated with NBC.  The network allowed Martin a 20-minute interview to spread his side of the story to Tony Dungy, without one single rebuttal interview with Richie Incognito or the 50 other Miami Dolphins who supported Richie’s side of the story.  It remains among the most one-sided interviews in journalism history.

We heard (and saw on text messages) some very graphic and despicable language that Incognito used, and it really was damning.

But slowly…eventually…the truth began to come out.  For example, as horrible as Richie’s language was, we learned that Jonathan Martin himself used the same exact language.

Martin spoke to Richie about the hookers and strippers they frequented.  Martin spoke about the drugs he used.  Martin threatened to kill Richie’s family. Martin used the n-word. Martin showed the same amount of class and respect as Richie did.  Martin even spoke of Richie as his friend.

Other Miami Dolphins began to back Richie’s side of the story.  They said that yes, Richie was crass, but Martin was crass also.  Martin was no innocent angel.  And certainly Martin never once said, “please stop,” or gave any indication whatsoever that he wanted certain behavior to stop.

Instead of reporting any of this, the media foolishly tossed around the dreaded B-word, as if a 300-lb giant professional athlete like Martin was truly being “bullied.”  He was teased.  But he was a teaser too.  That means if he were bullied, he was a bully himself.   You cannot engage in bad behavior and then cry when someone else commits the same behavior.  It makes no sense.  Yet Martin did this. And the media “forgot” to mention it.

Eventually, the Ted Wells report came out, and it was laughable.  The NFL allowed Wells himself to be judge, jury, and executioner. He stated his own opinions as fact, and Roger Goodell accepted all of it.  For example, when Jonathan Martin talked about certain events, he was an innocent victim of bullying.  But when Mike Pouncey talked about certain events, Wells said that Pouncey was not believable.   There is a word for assertions like that, and it is called “Opinion.”  Men are not condemned nor vindicated by opinions, especially not the opinion of a NY City lawyer who doesn’t know a single thing about an NFL locker room.

Aren’t we all glad this entire situation is behind is and that Jonathan Martin is now happily warming the bench in San Francisco as his new team is 3 games out of first place?

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  1. I’m still confused by the way this situation was handled. I guess at the end of the day, Richie became a PR liability and so his head was put on the chopping block.

    Obviously he has a big mouth, and so that didn’t help. Martin should have said something to somebody – but the Dolphins should have called out Richie if he was that toxic.

    Then again, the fact the didn’t notice the toxicity (no matter where it was coming from) shows how the coaches were oblivious to the well being of their players. Their season seemed to suffer for it.

    Those last to games of the season (“win and you’re in”) in which they could have made the playoffs were indicative of the players wanting to just finish the season and move on (imho).

    But back to Richie. Even if one takes the stance that indeed he was bullying Martin, Incognito was definitely not given a fair shake in the media or even by the NFL. That’s the most confusing part. And I wholeheartedly agree with Admin that it was insane that Martin just walked away from the team, only released things through his lawyer, and gave that 1-sided interview.

    I’ve now read 2 articles talking about how Incognito worked out for the Broncos, and that fans and local (Denver) writers are calling for him to be signed there; and so good for him. If he’s a loudmouth jerk, then let the team actually DEAL with the situation and COMMUNICATE to him that his behavior is not acceptable.

    Trust me – if you’re on the Broncos and there’s a choice between calling someone the n-word and going to the playoffs, and it’s made clear to him it’s his choice, I’m pretty sure that a Pro-Bowler such as Richie will make the obvious choice.

    As for Martin, the more losses the 49ers have, the more soundly I sleep at night.

  2. So even after the country club incident, apparently the admin still thinks that Incognito is defendable.

    1. Author

      I do think he is at least somewhat defendable for 3 reasons:
      1. The Dolphins knew about him all along. If you willingly elect to have a troublesome player on your team, you are partly responsible when he causes trouble.
      2. I am simply following the defense of 51 other Dolphins. Remember, the ENTIRE team defended Richie and took his side. Dolphins Truth isn’t necessarily making up our own defense of Richie. We are merely agreeing with the people who know him best.
      3. Martin’s actions are far more deplorable than anything Richie did. Martin broke every unwritten rule in the book, and this caught everyone off guard.

  3. Personally Ive encountered ppl like incognito in my life and learned to keep them at arms length even if I had to work directly with them. And I doubt anybody has any other opinion of Incognito. My problem is that I feel Martin was using Incognito as a means to better socialize himself with the team and tried to go along with the locker room shenanigans. When things started to look as if it was backfiring, he snapped out of disappointment. And all of that is fine with me. But why indite the entire team for the acts of a few? And why almost ruin your NFL career in doing so? And ruin the career of a player everybody already knew was obnoxious, and socially imposing? I can also say that a lot of people like Incognito mean no real harm and they express their own insecurities by projecting them through terrible humor on others. Im not saying its ok but it is what it is. Conversely many people that were of Incognito’s personality type that I despised turned out to be extremely loyal friends some of the time if friendship ever presented itself. And I get a feeling about Incognito that hes one of those friends in disguise. Its almost like he’s constantly trying to impress people by doing and saying things nobody else will while having no feel for the moment.

  4. My humble apology to PATRIOTNATION as the New England Patriots destroyed the Detroit Lions and the number one defense which they should no longer have that honor and tamed them to be lioness.

    1. Author

      Hard to believe the Lions haven’t scored a touchdown since they beat us late in the 4th Q back in Week 10.

  5. Hey guys with scores over 30 on both sides and a winning margin within 3 points. We have a team on the rise and even though we lost a very close game. The NFL is now on notice.

  6. Sorry- have to completely disagree with article. Martin may have been soft, but Richie is an first class a-hole. Seriously- the man has been an absolute cancer everywhere he’s been- Nebraska, Oregon, STL, BUF and now MIA…

    He was on his best behavior with us when he got here because we signed him to a one year deal. Once he got his long term deal and felt a little more comfortable, the “real” Richie” came out..

    He a meathead in every sense of the word. Sure, Martin was soft and should have fought back, but that wasn’t in his nature. Martin learned that there is a big difference between the players at Stanford, and those from Florida, LSU, etc.

    That’s why Pouncey and Richie got along so well- it wasn’t about race, both are just dirtbags at heart (yes, Mike Pouncey is a dirtbag from Lakeland, FL).

    So please stop trying to defend Incognito- he’s got a mean soul……

  7. Richie’s been a cancer everywhere he’s ever been- NEB, ORE, STL, BUF and MIA. Sure Martin was soft, but Richie is a first class a-hole.

    He was nice his first year with us because we signed him to a one year deal. Once he got a long term deal, the “real” Richie came out. You know, the one that mistreats women, picks on teammates and acts like an absolute meathead.

    That’s why Richie and Mike Pouncey get along so well- both are dirtbags. (yes, Pouncey is a dirtbag from Lakeland, FL). John Martin is anything but a dirtbag, and found out the hard way that the class of football player at Stanford is much different than say Florida, LSU, FSU, etc….

    Please stop trying to defend Incognito. He’s got a mean soul…….

  8. Richie is a scumbag, plain and simple. Has been everywhere he’s ever been. Martin may have been soft, but Richie is an a-hole. Please don’t defend him- he’s got a mean soul…..

    1. Author

      Yeah, his soul is mean, and we do not condone the things he said and did. However, we always feel it’s important to point out that 100% of Richie’s teammates backed HIS side of the story. If every single Dolphin defended Richie like they did, than we at least have to point that out.

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