Jason McIntyre of The Big Lead obtained (PDF) more than 1,000 text messages between Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin, the two Miami Dolphins embroiled in a he-said/he-said bullying controversy. The published texts reveal crude banter, an overbearingly social guard, and a younger tackle who appears to go along to get along. They don’t show many, if any, signs of bullying.
“U look like an aids patient with a shaved head,” Incognito tells his teammate in an insulting text that could be interpreted as bullying or verbal horse play. Martin responds that “bitches love it.” The guard replies, “Bitches don’t love aids.”The entire correspondence, which lasts about a year from October of 2012 to early November 2013, can be summed up in two words: booze and women. Though Martin confesses “Stanford fans are weak,” and Incognito says of a possible concussion, “My brain has been to far out places and back,” the texts show little interest in the game that both men make millions to play. The all-consuming theme of the exchanges is getting drunk and sexual conquest.
“U down for t’s,” Incognito asks. “Nah I’m grossed out by prostitutes,” the Stanford graduate responds. “Haha! U c—,” Incognito writes, “They’re strippers who go the extra mile.” “That’s an interesting way to put it,” Martin explains, “but loose vaginas that get pounded by multiple c—s everyday don’t do it for me.”
When Incognito doesn’t hear from his teammate for a few days he asks, “U good dude? Did u get some chick pregnant? I’ll help u off her if that’s the case.” “Lol yeah I’m good man,” Martin replies. “Ima hold you to that if I ever knock up a chick at tootsies.”The pattern of the correspondence generally sees Incognito instigate crude talk with Martin joining in at the veteran player’s prompting. Occasionally, Martin instigates the off-color discussions. “I will murder your whole F—ing family,” a Martin text message captioning two humorous pictures from the web states.
When media firestorm explodes over the bullying accusations, Incognito displays befuddlement and Martin denies culpability. “What’s up with this?” Incognito asks on November 1. “I got nothing to do with it man I haven’t said anything to anyone,” Martin responds.
Over the next three days, as the story explodes, Incognito sends three unanswered texts. “I heard it’s all coming from Ur agent?” he asks in one. “I need you buddy I’m getting killed in the media,” he follows up the next day. On November 3, he plaintively asks, “Bro can we talk? The dolphins are talking about releasing me.”