When Jonathan Martin abruptly left the Miami Dolphins in November, allegations of bullying swirled around the NFL franchise and eventually offensive lineman Richie Incognito was dubbed Martin’s main torturer for the better part of a year.
In the three months since not much has been heard from either side, but Martin did make a public statement on Thursday that shed very little light on the incident. Martin did express his desire to work with the Dolphin organization.
But on Friday CBS Miami published 40 pages of text messages exchanged between the former teammates that show an ongoing, friendly relationship with lots of crude jokes ranging from race and pranks to exaggerated violence.
Obtained from Incognito’s attorney, Mark Schamel, the messages go back as far as December 2012 and many include foul language.
On Dec. 17, 2012 Martin messaged Incognito: “Ima egg your house & light a bag of s*** on fire then ring your doorbell.”
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Incognito said in kind: “I’m going to shoot you and claim self defense. I’m white ur black I’ll walk.”
To which Martin said: “I’m gonna give McDonald bath salts and lock him in your house with a tranquilizer gun & a box of sand paper condoms.”
Incognito laughed that comment off, and from then on the texts were much of the same.
Then on October 23 rd of last year Incognito messaged Martin: “F*** you!!!”
Martin responded: “I will murder your whole f***ing family.”
Martin eventually left the team a week later, and Incognito repeatedly called him before finally receiving a text on November 1: “Wassup man? The world’s gone crazy lol I’m good tho congrats on the win.”
From there a full conversation via text took place, and it doesn’t appear as if Incognito posed a serious threat to Martin as the story was originally made out to be.
Incognito said to Martin: “Thanks dude. It’s unbelievable all the attention this is getting. All that’s important is that you feel better and know we miss u dude.”
Martin responded: “Yeah I’m good man. It’s insane bro but just know I don’t blame you guys at all its just the culture around football and the locker room got to me a little. Btw…never check yourself into a mental hospital.”
Incognito replied: “I hear ya It’s a lot to take in I’ve checked myself in before I had to threaten to beat everyone up for them to let me out. Not fun.”
Martin wrote back: “Yeah bro it was the worst. I almost snapped and started breaking s***.”
After a back and forth and Incognito later wrote: “Hahahahah That’s exactly what I was feeling. The brain is a tricky thing My brain has been to far out places and back.”
Martin replied: “yeah man. How you feeling? Heard you got hurt.”
He eventually stopped responding when Incognito brought up an ESPN story about the NFL Players Union investigating the bullying charges, with Incognito specially asking if the information was coming from Martin’s agent.
Martin was apparently livid after offensive lineman played a prank on him in the team cafeteria, abruptly standing up when he sat down at the lunch table. He reportedly screamed and marched out of the Dolphins’ facility.
After Martin left the team, Incognito was initially suspended and then the Dolphins extended the suspension for the rest of the season. He appeared in eight games total for a Miami offensive line that was last in the NFL allowing 58 sacks in 2013.
Before the incident and media attention, Incognito had been labeled a dirty player and troublemaker, with many around the league accusing him of taking cheap shots. Miami head coach Joe Philbin had actually pushed for the team to released Incognito at the end of the 2012 season following the lineman’s role in a harassment incident at a charity golf event.