Incognito: 'This isn't an issue about bullying'

Suspended lineman tries to clarify relationship with Martin

By David Lang - Executive Producer
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The latest on the allegations against Miami Dolphins lineman Richie Incognito.

MIAMI - Suspended Dolphins lineman Richie Incognito spoke to FOX's Jay Glazer on Sunday.

Glazer started the interview: "You've become the face of bullying in American.  Somebody thinks of a bully, they think of Richie Incognito."

Incognito replied, "This isn't an issue of bullying.  This is an issue of my and Jon's relationship, where I've taken stuff too far.  I did not intend to hurt him.  What I was going for, I was going for... I haven't seen my buddy, I wanted to shock him, I wanted him to call me back.  And, when the words are put in the context, I understand why a lot of eyebrows get raised."

Incognito went on to elaborate about his relationship with Martin: "But people don't know how Jon and I communicate to one another.  For instance, a week before this went down, Jonathan Martin texts me on my phone 'I will murder your whole eff'ing family.'"

Incognito explained, "Now, do I think Jonathan Martin is gonna murder my family?  Not not one bit."

Glazer replied: "So he left that voicemail, that text for you?

Incognito answered: "He texted me that.  I didn't think he was going to kill my family.  I knew it was coming from a brother.  I knew it was coming from a friend.  I knew it was coming from a teammate, that just puts in context how we communicate with one another."

Glazer disclosed that he and Incognito are friends and have trained in Mixed Martial Arts together.

Glazer said Incognito would not answer if he was told by the Dolphins to toughen up Martin.

Here's the full text of the interview:

Incognito: You can ask anybody in the Miami Dolphins locker room who had Jonathan Martin's back the absolute most, and they will undoubtedly tell you me. Jon never showed signs… that football was getting to him… the locker room was getting to him.


Glazer: You're saying you don't know.. what lead to this. Teammates are saying we don't know.. his side has clearly said we do know. Ok and there's bullying involved. There was a voice message left. I'm gonna read it to you, you did leave this voice message?


Incognito: Yes I did leave this voice message.


Glazer: (Reads out voicemail left by Incognito) You hear that, going back to that now.. do you look at that and say… I left that for Jonathan Martin?


Incognito: When I see that voicemail, when I see those words come up across the screen, I'm embarrassed by it, I'm embarrassed by my actions. But what I want people to know is… the way Jonathan and the rest of the offensive line and our teammates how we communicate is vulgar. It's.. it's not right. When words are put in the context, I understand why eyebrows get raised but people don't know how Jon and I communicate to one another.


Glazer: But there's one thing saying that, but there's another thing with a white man saying the N word.


Incognito: Well that's…


Glazer: How do you, how do you tell America, how do you expect anyone in America.. to believe you're not a racist?


Incognito: Right, I'm not a racist. And to judge me by that one word is wrong. In no way shape or form is it ever acceptable for me to use that word. Even if it's friend to friend on a voicemail.


Glazer: How much in today's locker room.. is it thrown around by African Americans and white players.


Incognito: It's thrown around a lot. It's a word that I've heard Jon use a lot, not saying it's right for the way I did it in the voicemail but.. there's a lot of colorful words that get thrown around in the locker room that… we don't use in everyday life. The fact of the matter remains though that that voicemail was left on a private voicemail for a friend and it was a joke.


Glazer: Right, wrong or indifferent.. because of all this… You've become the face of bullying in America. Somebody thinks of bullying they think of Richie Incognito.


Incognito: This isn't an issue about bullying, this is an issue of my and Jon's relationship where… I've taken stuff too far and I didn't know it was hurting him.


Glazer: Did Jonathan Martin overreact? Or Jonathan was hurting that much?


Incognito: I can't sit here and tell you who overreacted, who did what I can just sit here and be accountable for my actions. And my actions were coming from a place of love. No matter how bad and how vulgar it sounds… that's how we communicate, that's how our friendship was, and those are the facts and that's what I'm accountable for.


Glazer: You're telling me there weren't any signs going into that.


Incognito: You know.. as the leader, as his best friend on the team.. that's what has me miffed. How I missed this. And.. I never saw it.. never saw it coming.


Glazer: There's so many sub plots in this, how much of it has come out and you said… that's not even close?


Incognito: I think the whole thing I've been sitting there saying it's not even close. It sounds terrible, when it's on the screen. It sounds like I'm a racist pig.. it sounds like I'm a meathead.. it sounds a lot of things that its not. And I want to clear the air just by saying I'm a good person.


Glazer: You obviously got a very checkered history.. from way back to college to last year with the incident at the golf course. You're sitting up here saying, hey I'm a good guy. It's difficult for I think America to grasp that when all they see are the episodes.


Incognito: Right no question. And if you go just by all the knucklehead stuff that I've done in the past.. You're sitting in your home thinking… this guy's a loose cannon… this guy's a terrible person.. this guy's a racist. Well that couldn't be farther from the truth. If I was a racist.. and I was bullying Jon Martin… when the press went in there and asked them questions… that locker room would have said, listen we saw this we saw that… I'm proud of my guys for having my back and telling the truth.. but the fact of the matter is… when Jon left the team on Monday.. we played a game on Thursday. I spoke with Jon on Friday.


Glazer: You spoke with him?


Incognito: I texted him, I text messaged with him. I spoke to him through text message. And he text me and said, "I don't blame you guys, I blame some stuff in the locker room. I blame the culture, I blame what was going on around me." And when all this stuff got going, and swirling and bullying got attached to it and my name got attached to it…. I just texted him as a friend and was like, "what's up with this man?" And he said, "It's not coming from me.. I haven't said anything to anybody." And I'm like…. You know… OK.


Glazer: Are these texts you'd be willing to share?


Incognito: Absolutely. After this interview, I'll give you my phone. And we'll walk through all of these texts. And I will show you the framework of a friendship.


Glazer: If Jonathan Martin was sitting right here next to you… what would you say to him?


Incognito: I think…. Honestly I think I'd give him a big hug right now because we've been through so much and I'd just be like, "Dude.. what's going on. Why didn't you come to me?"  If he were to say, listen… you took it way to far. You hurt me. You know, I would just apologize and explain to him exactly what I explained to you. I would apologize to his family, they took it as malicious, but umm….. I never, I never… I never meant it that way.

Glazer: There are 1142 texts between the two. Offensive absolutely. It's going back and forth between both Incognito and Martin, what's most important is after Martin left the team) [3 days after Martin left the team; Martin texts to Incognito] – "Wassup man? The world's gone crazy LOL I'm good tho congrats on the win"


"Yeah I'm good man. It's insane bro but just know I don't blame you guys at all it's just the culture around football and the locker room got to me a little."

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