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Report Finds 'No Malcious Intent ' in Incognito's 'Reprehensible' Jokes About Shooting Black People

Report Finds 'No Malcious Intent ' in Incognito's 'Reprehensible' Jokes About Shooting Black People

Though Richie Incognito traded text messages with another Dolphins player in which they joked about about owning weapons to shoot black people, an NFL report released on Friday regarding the Jonathan Martin-Incognito “bullying” scandal determined that the jokes were just “thoughtless banter” without malicious intent. The report declined to make a finding about whether Incognito’s actions toward Martin were motivated by race.

From the report: 

Finally, when considering racial animus, certain of Incognito’s textmessages that do not relate directly to Martin are relevant to assessing his racial attitudes.Specifically, on December 13, 2012, Incognito and a former Dolphins offensive lineman,who is white, communicated about purchasing guns, apparently for recreational purposes.(We identify this former Dolphin as Player B.) The discussion veered into jokes aboutshooting black people:

Player B: Especially if u plan living in Arizona in the future, that’sexactly what you want

Incognito: Yea. For picking off zombies3

Player B: Lol isn’t that why we own any weapons!?
Incognito: That and black people
Player B: Mmm def all black ppl

Incognito: That and black people

Player B: Mmm def all black ppl

Four days later, Incognito and Player B discussed rifle scopes in text

Player B: Yes. That’s a solid optic made specifically for a .308battle rifle

Incognito: Perfect for shooting black people

Player B: Lol exactly

Player B: Or Jeff Ireland

The report concluded, though, that the messages did not show that Incognito’s actions against Martin were motivated by race. Martin was particularly upset that Incognito referred to him as the “N-word” in voicemails and in person at a Miami restaurant: 

We accept that these messages are nothing more than thoughtless banter, with no underlying malicious intent. But such jokes are nonetheless reprehensible andarguably reflect deep-seated racial hostility. In sum, while there is no question that Incognito made offensive racial comments to Martin and others, and displayed a troubling insensitivity to racial issues in general, the evidence is sufficiently muddled and conflicting that we decline to make a finding on whether Incognito’s conduct toward Martin, considered in full, was necessarily motivated by racial animus. 

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