Richie Incognito of the Miami Dolphins, has been indefinitely suspended by the team, after allegations were made of bullying and hazing teammate Jonathan Martin. This story has been unspooling since Martin quit the team on October 28th, following an incident that took place in the Dolphin’s lunch room.
Such allegations included verbal and physical harassment, with text messages and voicemails full of explicit and racial slurs, and repeatedly forcing Martin into mental breakdowns.
Martin was a second round draft pick out of Stanford in the 2012 draft. He has been criticized for his lack of mental toughness, which might have been reinforced by the way he has handled the issues with Incognito.
The NFL has decided to undergo their own independent investigation on the matter.
Many of Incognito and Martin’s teammates have spoken to the media stating that the two of them seemed to have a best-friend relationship. It has been said that the two spent most of their time with each other on and off the field, and have shared over 1,000 text messages in the past year.
Incognito has also gone to the media, constantly reiterating the fact that he was always there for Martin.
The final incident that led to the departure of Martin was in the lunchroom,. Martin was last to get his food, and the plan of the prank was that once he got his food and went to sit down at the table, the rest of the table was going to simultaneously get up, pick up their food and sit at another table.
This appeared to be the last straw of harassment for Martin, who immediately threw his food in frustration, stormed out of the lunch room, and hasn’t returned to the locker room since.
A few days following the incident, Incognito was suspended from the team indefinitely. Under the NFL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, a player can be suspended for a maximum of four games.Incognito has been no stranger to suspensions and locker room problems. He was released from both the University of Nebraska and University of Oregon teams.
He has been consistently ranked among the top five dirtiest players in the NFL, including the number 1 spot in 2009. He has already been released by two NFL teams.
After four weeks of no pay, Incognito has decided to file a non-injury grievance against the Miami Dolphins. He has already lost more than $1 million of pay, and feels he has been wrongly suspended for an indefinite amount of time.
The NFL will be continuing their investigation. Although Incognito may win the grievance, chances are the Dolphins will release him from the team, after all of the drama.