Suspended Miami Dolphins offensive lineman Richie Incognito made his first public comments since he was connected to the Jonathan Martin bullying scandal.
Florida television station WSVN-TV managed to briefly interview Incognito outside a doctor’s office. The 30-year-old lineman refused to comment on allegations that he directed racial slurs at Martin, and expressed his desire to put the bullying scandal behind him.
“I’m just trying to weather the storm right now,” Incognito said in the interview. “This will pass.”
When asked by WSVN about the allegations that he left a racially charged, threatening voicemail for Martin, Incognito gave an abrupt response. “No comment right now. We’re just gonna weather the storm. That’s it,” he said. Incognito’s interview can be viewed below.
Incognito stands accused of subjecting the 23-year-old Martin to various types of bullying, including verbal abuse and threats of physical violence, various news outlets reported. In April 2013, he allegedly left a racist voicemail after members of the Dolphins coaching staff asked him to “toughen up” Martin, who had missed a pair of voluntary workouts, CBS Sports reports. ESPN’s Adam Schefter acquired a transcript of the voicemail.
"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,” the voicemail transcript read.
Sources familiar with the situation claim that Incognito frequently directed racial slurs at Martin and made obscene comments about his sexual orientation, ESPN reported. He is also believed to have threatened to harm Martin and members of his family, according to CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora.
Initially, Incognito refused to admit to bullying Martin; in a Twitter rant last Sunday, he bashed Schefter, ESPN and other news outlets for their handling of the story.
“Stop slandering my name,” Incognito wrote in a tweet addressed to Schefter. “You hide behind ‘sources’ who are not man enough to put their name behind the BS you report. This is the second time you have tried to drag my name through the mud with [sic] lies.”
Ultimately, the Dolphins decided to suspend Incognito indefinitely for conduct detrimental to the team. Incognito has yet to directly comment on his suspension.