As the football world waits this week for Ted Wells’ report on the Miami Dolphins’ bullying scandal, fresh context into the relationship between Jonathan Martin and Richie Incognito emerged today.
USA Today published more than 1,000 text messages between the two former teammates late in the day, a back-and-forth that would seem to suggest that Martin was more participant in bawdy behavior than victim of it.
The two men, who both returned to the limelight last week, would often profanely discuss their sexual conquests and taste for nightlife. The correspondence appears to support Incognito’s contention that the two men were friends, but certainly, the language used would be offensive to many.
Most specifically, Incognito often would call Martin gay, although often in an apparently joking fashion.
Also, the two went back and forth about the infamous trip to Las Vegas, for which Martin was reportedly pressured to pay, even though he didn’t attend.
In the end, however, Incognito appeared to back off the request for $6,000, and Martin even offered to pay his share for the hotel room. The use of prostitutes was often discussed.
As CBS Miami reported last week, there was also discussion of drug use by Martin, with Mike Pouncey’s home brought up in that context.
Incognito would often use racial epithets when referring to Martin and did indeed, as reported elsewhere, joke that he could kill Martin and get away with it because "I’m white ur black."
However, that’s when Martin countered with the threat to have Incognito raped with sandpaper condoms.
The two stayed in touch from the end of the 2012 season through the start of training camp, with Incognito often checking on his teammate’s training. The two discussed the loss of offensive tackle Jake Long to the Rams, with Incognito saying that "(Jeff) Ireland didn’t make him feel welcome."
But the most fascinating part of the exchange is how the relationship ended. As they often did, the two hit the town together on Oct. 23. Five days later, Martin stormed out of the team’s training complex after a lunchroom prank gone wrong.
Incognito reached out to Martin six times the night of Oct. 28, imploring his teammate to call or text him.
The next day, Incognito wrote: "What’s up dude Glad to hear Ur ok I’m here if u ever need to talk. I’ve been through enough (expletive) myself to understand." He also wrote that he missed Martin’s "stinky armpits."
Finally, Martin responded four days after he left the team, saying: "Wassup man? The worlds gone crazy lol I’m good tho congrats on the win. … 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."
Later that night, Incognito sent Martin a copy of an ESPN story that, for the first time, implicated Incognito as Martin’s alleged tormenter.
Martin responded: "I got nothing to do with it man I haven’t said anything to anyone." That was the last of the hundreds of texts Martin would send Incognito.
Incognito’s final text to Martin, according to USA Today’s report, came on Nov. 3: "Bro can we talk? The dolphins are talking about releasing me."
Incognito was indefinitely suspended that night.