Miami Dolphins guard Richie Incognito (68) and tackle Jonathan Martin (71) look up from the bench in the second half of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints in New Orleans, Monday, Sept. 30, 2013. (AP Photo/Bill Feig)
MIAMI (TheBlaze/AP) — Suspended Miami Dolphins guard Richie Incognito says teammate Jonathan Martin sent him a threatening text message only a week before their relationship mushroomed into a harassment case that has prompted an NFL investigation.
In an interview with Fox Sports televised Sunday, Incognito said he didn't take the threat seriously. Incognito said he regrets racist and profane language he used with Martin, but said it stemmed from a culture of "brotherhood" in the locker room, not from bullying.
"A week before this went down, Jonathan Martin texted me on my phone - 'I will murder your whole ... family,'" Incognito reportedly said according to CBS News, quoting Martin as using a profanity. "Now did I think Jonathan Martin was going to murder my family? Not one bit. He texted me that. I didn't think he was going to kill my family. I knew it was coming from a brother. I knew it was coming from a friend. I knew it was coming from a teammate. That just puts in context how we communicate with one another."
That part of the interview is included in the full 10-minute video, but not included in Fox Sports' write-up of the sit-down.
Here are a few other quotes from Incognito from the interview:
I'm not a racist. And to judge me by that one word is wrong. 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.
I can’t sit here and tell you who overreacted, who did what. I can just sit here and be accountable for my actions. And my actions were coming from a place of love. No matter how bad and how vulgar it sounds, that’s how we communicate, that’s how our friendship was, and those are the facts, and that’s what I’m accountable for.
And a few days after Martin left the team, Incognito said he texted Martin:
I texted with him, I text messaged, I spoke with him through text message. And he texted me and said, 'I don’t blame you guys. I blame some stuff in the locker room. I blame the culture. I blame what was going on around me.' And when all this stuff got going and swirling, bullying got attached to it and my name got attached to it. I just texted him as a friend and was like, 'What’s up with this, man?' He said, 'It's not coming from me. I haven’t said anything to anybody.' And I’m like, 'OK.'
Martin left the team two weeks ago and alleges he was harassed by teammates, including Incognito. Martin is in counseling for emotional issues, and he'll discuss the case late next week with a special investigator hired by the league.
Here's the full interview with Incognito from Fox Sports. The part about the text comes at the six-minute mark:
This story has been updated.