November 07, 2013
By Kenneth D. Miller
Assistant Managing Editor
By all accounts, Miami Dolphins second year lineman Jonathan Martin was the total opposite of teammate Richie Incognito, who the Dolphins suspended this week indefinitely because of racially charged allegations.
Martin, a second round draft pick out of Stanford University where he played for African American coach, David Shaw, was a redshirt sophomore All-American for the Cardinal.
Prior to choosing the Cardinal, he was a standout football star for Harvard Westlake, a local prestigious private school recognized for its academic excellence and athletic success.
Martin hails from a proud family of esteemed intellect. His father, Gus Martin, is a Harvard University graduate and professor at Cal State Dominguez. His mother, Jane, is also a Harvard graduate and a corporate lawyer for Toyota.
In fact, as many as nine of his relatives graduated from the elite Ivy League school.
Incognito on the other hand was a troubled collegiate player at Nebraska who was suspended in his second year from the team, but reinstated.
Respected former NFL coach turned analyst, Tony Dungy recalled that Incognito was listed on the Colts draft board as DNDC (Do Not Draft Character issues), but the St. Louis rams ignored that label and made him the 81st player selected in 2005 in the 3rd round.
Incognito is considered one of the dirtiest players in the NFL, but has played for three teams during his nine-year career.
However, this week, the names of both Martin and Incognito are inescapably linked because of an alleged hazing incident that went way too far.
Although Martin in his second year should not have been the subject of an NFL ritual of rookie hazing, its has been reported that he was targeted by Incognito who went so far as to leave messages on his cell phone informing him that he wanted to defecate in his mouth, would slap his mother and rained the dreaded N word epithet on numerous occasions.
INCOGNITO TRANSCRIPT: “Hey, wassup, you half n----- piece of s---. I saw you on Twitter, you been training 10 weeks. [I want to] s--- in your f---ing mouth. [I'm going to] slap your f---ing mouth. [I'm going to] slap your real mother across the face [laughter]. F--- you, you're still a rookie. I'll kill you.” This was recorded in 2013 when Martin was drafted.
The apparent straw that broke the camel’s back for Martin came when teammates asked him to join them for lunch and when he sat down to eat with them, they all got up and left.
In disgust Martin slammed his food tray on the table and left and has not returned to the team. He has not returned and has not yet been placed on the physically unable to perform list. He has sought counseling according to his representatives.
Incognito’s future in the league is in peril after a former player, Bart Scott, said that none of what is being reported and said about Incognito surprises him.
“I want to see [NFL commissioner] Roger Goodell step up and talk about player conduct and protecting the shield — this guy needs to be out of this league,” Scott said on the Stephen A. Smith & Ryan Ruocco show on ESPN 98.7 FM. “He needs to be gone. No one would miss him, anyway. Trust me."
The former Jets and Ravens linebacker lit into the Dolphins guard Monday for his alleged bullying of Martin.
“It doesn’t surprise me one bit. He’s a fake tough guy. He’s a guy that suffers from mood swings, if you know what I mean. That’s something we’ve always known,” said Scott, who competed against Incognito during his career. “One of the dirtiest players, if not the dirtiest player I’ve ever played against.”
In stark contrast, New York Giants player Antrel Rolle, who is Black, partially blamed Martin.
“Was Richie Incognito wrong? Absolutely. But I think the other guy is just as much to blame as Richie, because he allowed it to happen. At this level, you’re a man. You’re not a little boy. You're not a freshman in college. You’re a man,” Rolle said.
In addition, the National Football League Players Association is carefully monitoring the situation because it represents both players, Incognito who is white and Martin who is Black.
More than 50 percent of the players in the NFL are African Americans and the fraternity is very tight knit as demonstrated by the response of Rolle and the lack thereof others who have not even bothered to come out in support of the 24-year old Martin.
Few disagree that Incognito’s behavior was racially motivated, the second and most powerful incident the NFL has faced this year. During the preseason, Philadelphia Eagles receiver, Riley Cooper, used the N-word towards a Black at a summer concert.
However, what has not been reported may be a block buster story that may or may not ever come out.
What was the off-the-field relationship with Incognito and Martin? Why would Incognito risk his entire career in the NFL and raking in millions after having combated drug and alcohol abuse in this manner?
Why didn’t Martin retaliate immediately, either via phone or in person?
Martin was allegedly bullied into paying $15,000 for a Las Vegas trip for veteran players and after doing so, did attend the trip himself.
What sort of counseling did Martin require?
There will come a day when Incognito will have more to say and perhaps Martin will come out and speak, but one thing is certain, there is much more to this story that what we have read and heard!