Dolphins lineman Richie Incognito, who is white, said he was not a racist in an interview with Fox Sports reporter Jay Glazer that aired on Sunday and said Dolphins lineman Jonathan Martin, who is bi-racial, also used the “N-word” in the locker room.
Martin left the team two weeks ago and has since revealed a text Incognito sent him in which Incognito used the “N-word.” Incognito has come under fire from the league after Martin alleged he harassed him repeatedly and has been indefinitely suspended from the team while the NFL investigates the situation. Incognito also said he had Martin’s back more than anyone else in the locker room. Incognito said he sent the text to shock Martin to get Martin to call him back.
“I am not a racist. And to judge me by that one word is wrong,” he said. “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. I regret that.”
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 how our teammates how we communicate, it’s vulgar. It’s, it’s not right. When the words are put in the context, I understand why a lot of eyebrows get raised, but people don’t know how Jon and I communicate to one another.
Incognito said his actions were “coming from a place of love” and said he would give Martin “a hug” if he saw him today. Regarding the “N-word,” Incognito, whom some Miami Dolphins players said was an “honorary” black man, said, “it’s thrown around a lot.”
“It’s a word that I’ve heard Jon use a lot,” Incognito said. “Not saying it’s right for when I did it in the voicemail, but there’s a lot of colorful words thrown around the locker room that we don’t use in everyday life. The fact of the matter remains, though, that that voicemail was left as a private voicemail for my friend, and it was a joke.”
Incognito said he would apologize to Martin and his family for taking his vulgar texts in way he did not intend. Glazer disclosed that he has trained Incognito for MMA events in the past and the two have been friendly for about five years.