Miami Dolphins guard Richie Incognito is no stranger to controversy, so it doesn't come as all that big a surprise that he's at the center of the NFL's investigation into the bullying of teammate Jonathan Martin, who abruptly left the team last Monday. According to sources, Incognito sent Martin "text messages and voicemails that are both threatening and racially charged in nature." As a result, Incognito has been suspended indefinitely.
Should we be shocked by this, though? Throughout his career, Incognito has proven himself to be one of the biggest assholes in sports.
Let's look at the evidence:
- While he was a center at Nebraska in 2004, Incognito was suspended for "repeated violations of team rules." After a fight at a party earlier that year, he was found guilty on one count of misdemeanor assault. The previous year he was suspended from the team for "unspecified reasons." He was ejected from one game for fighting, he was busted for spitting on an opponent, and got into another fight at the Alamo Bowl.
- After leaving Nebraska, Incognito enrolled at Oregon, where he didn't even make it to the practice field before being released. According to Oregon Coach Mike Bellotti at the time, "There were conditions we had set down and set forth for him to be admitted to our program, and they were not met."
- Despite all this, Incognito was drafted in the third round of the 2005 NFL draft by the St. Louis Rams. By his second season he was a starter, but while rehabbing an ankle injury in 2007, he later admitted to partying every night: "Drinking. Doing drugs. I was doing everything a professional athlete should not be doing."
- In his four years with the Rams from 2006 through 2009, he led the league in flags for unnecessary roughness, and committed 38 penalties altogether.
- In a poll of NFL players by The Sporting News in 2009, Incognito was voted the dirtiest player in the league. That same year, the Rams cut him after he committed two personal fouls in one game.
- After being waived by the Buffalo Bills in 2010, Incognito signed with the Miami Dolphins, and had apparently cleaned up his act, swearing off drugs and beginning a regimen of meditation.
-In 2012, Incognito was named to his first Pro Bowl, but was voted the second dirtiest player in the league, trailing only the Detroit Lions' NdamukungSuh. During a preseason game the following year, Texas Defensive End Antonio Smith was so incensed by Incognito's play that he ripped his helmet off and swung it at him.
- Just this past August, according to a police report, Incognito got into an altercation at a Miami nightclub. According to sources, he punched a security guard. "I'm not going to touch it," Incognito said about the incident. "We've addressed it as a team. We've addressed it with me, and we've moved on." Incognito later denied the story.
And now this situation with Martin. In addition to the harassing texts and voicemails, sources told ESPN that Incognito bullied Martin into paying $15,000 to help finance a players trip to Las Vegas. Martin didn't want to go, but handed over the money to avoid Incgonito's wrath. And apparently, Martin isn't the only member of the Dolphins who has suffered abuse from the Lineman.
According to ESPN's Adam Shefter, with whom Incognito has been feuding over Twitter, in April the lineman left the following voicemail with Martin: "Hey, wassup, you half n----- piece of (expletive).…..(I'm going to) slap your (expletive) mouth. (I'm going to) slap your real mother across the face (laughter)…(Expletive) you, you're still a rookie. I'll kill you."
So is he the biggest asshole in the NFL? We certainly hope so, because if there's a bigger one, there's something seriously wrong.
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