« Dolphins: Not under investigation, no bullying concern | Main | Miami Dolphins hazing, pranks, bullying may run afoul of NFL Personal Conduct Policy »

ESPN, CBS double down on Incognito as bully

Following a statement from the Dolphins that rejects the notion there is any bullying going on within the Dolphins and specifically the offensive line and a twitter barrage by guard Richie Incognito against ESPN, there is now return fire from media giant.

According to ProFootballTalk.com, ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter reports the reason Jonathan Martin has not formally complained to the team about Richie Incognito allegedly bullying him is because he's afraid of retribution from his teammate.

From PFT: "Shefter detailed a situation in which Martin was intimidated by Incognito to contribute $15,000 toward a trip to Las Vegas by the team’s offensive lineman.  Martin, according to Schefter, didn’t want to go and ultimately didn’t go — but he surrendered the money anyway.

If true, it’s the really rich guy example of someone stealing someone else’s lunch money.

Schefter also explained that there are text messages and at least one voice message proving harassment and justifying Martin’s fears for retribution.  Schefter added that Martin’s recent comments to Incognito explaining that Martin doesn’t blame his teammates for harassment also arose from concerns by Martin that he’ll face retaliation if he accuses Incognito of doing anything wrong."

Meanwhile, over at CBS, Jason LaCanfora paints an ugly picture of Incognito. He says La Canfora Incognito likes to intentionally walk into people, make "others feel uncomfortable and make threatening remarks" to Martin.

Ok, Salguero time out.

Let's be clear here:

This is a very complex and multi-layered story. There are multiple sides serving as sources.

There is the Martin side (which includes his agent). There is the Dolphins side (which is outlined in their statement). There is the Incognito side (which he has made clear through his twitter defense). All of these have a public side. All of these are also putting information out to the media as sources. All of them.

And somewhere in all of this is, well, the truth.

You cannot believe everything coming from the team because it has an agenda -- to protect its own interests with the least possible damage to itself. You cannot believe everything coming from the Martin side because it has an agenda -- to protect the player, get him back into the locker room, while also making Incognito stop whatever alleged actions he's been undertaking. You cannot believe everything coming from Incognito's side because he has an agenda -- to remove the focus from his as a bully, to deny the allegations, and protect his name.

All of them have agendas. All of them.

All of them are speaking to the media either directly or as sources.

And as they all have different agendas, you are getting different stories.

So what's my point?

This is a mess.