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Incognito considered black in Dolphins locker room

One of the most curious aspects of the Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin story is how race has become very much a part of it outside the Dolphins locker room -- in the media and among fans and observers -- but not at all so far within the Dolphins locker room.

Think of this:

Richie Incognito left Jonathan Martin a voice mail that, among other things, called Martin a "half-n----r." And Dolphins players of color, knowing of the voicemail, have expressed no problems with Incognito.

"I don't have a problem with Richie," Mike Wallace said. "I love Richie."

"I don't think Richie is a racist," cornerback Brent Grimes said.

"Richie Incognito isn't a racist," tight end Michael Egnew said.

ESPN analyst and former Dolphins wide receiver Cris Carter has know Mike Pouncey since the player's childhood. Today Carter said on air he recently spoke to Mike Pouncey and the center, who is Incognito's friend, addressed race.

"They don't feel as if he's a racist, they don't feel as if he picked on Jonathan repeatedly and bullied him, but if they could do it all over again there would be situations that they might change but they’re very, very comfortable with Richie,” Carter said.

 “They think it’s sad, not only that Jonathan’s not on the football team, but also that Richie is being depicted as a bigot and as a racist.”

How is this possible?

Well, I've spoken to multiple people today about this and the explanation from all of them is that in the Dolphins locker room, Richie Incognito was considered a black guy. He was accepted by the black players. He was an honorary black man.

And Jonathan Martin, who is bi-racial, was not. Indeed, Martin was considered less black than Incognito.

"Richie is honarary," one player who left the Dolphins this offseason told me today. "I don't expect you to understand because you're not black. But being a black guy, being a brother is more than just about skin color. It's about how you carry yourself. How you play. Where you come from. What you've experienced. A lot of things."

Another former Dolphins employee told me Martin is considered "soft" by his teammates and that's a reason he's not readily accepted by some of the players, particularly the black players. His background -- Stanford educated and the son of highly educated people -- was not necessarily seen as a strength or a positive by some players and it perpetuated in the way Martin carried himself.

And so -- agree with it or not, comprehend it or not -- this is a reason the Dolphins haven't turned on Incognito as a racist.

Comments

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drsamii...be careful...I am a NYC first responder that has been helping the needy/weak since a young age. people on this blog know my history.
I also do not believe your contention that Cogs is innocent. He has been a POS since high school. You really need to do some research on the guy. He has been thrown off an NFL team for conduct and a major College team....the guy is insane piece of chit!!

Great news Carroll passed his concussion test! We're saved!

CAN'T WE LAY SOME OF THE SCANDAL OFF ON CHAD HENNE?

Haha, Rich Gannon and his Delaware street cred. By the weay, he was nobody when he got to the Raiders. he got a big contract from Oakland on the abck of some good games with the Chiefs because the starter was injured. Kansas City thought who was it - Steve Bono? Was a better qb. Stopped it when he got there, my arse.

BY the way, what is Gannon doing these days? Oh yeah, analyst for CBS and the NFL ... surprise surprise

when gannon came out of the closet the chiefs cut him right away

lets hope tampa beats us, then we will finally have hit rock bottom and maybe ross will fire everyone before getting on the plane home

Phins, that story bring s atear to my eye ... beautiful...

And when someone says "I'll kill you" and you don't hear the comment how in the hell are you going to take it so literal.

I swear to God some reporters are actually using the words, "death threats" as if it's real. As if people never say I'll kill you while they are laughing. They don't mean it idiots! It's a joke! Richie was even laughing when he said it. DEATH THREAT? Grow up already.

Oh yeah, he was serious when he said he would slap his mother too right? No one even knows where that joke originated. For all we know it's a running gag inside the locker room about slapping mothers!

Phins78 great post. I believe based on what is out there that Cogs and Martin need to go....Cogs is a POS and Martin handled this event wrong. He walked out on his team and there are enough questions unanswered to doubt his motives. I believe he wants to play for the 49ers or Chargers....you know the laid back California type teams.

As crazy as it sounds it is true very good article Armando. It isn't about color. I can tell you from experience. I really don't care what anyone thinks or if they believe me. All i'm saying is that it's true. Now the way he throws it out there might be offensive to some on the outside but for the people around him he is a brother.

ANOTHER 7-9 INSTEAD OF 4-12 will kill us again like always

Posted by: dusty bottoms | November 06, 2013 at 04:28 P

Dusty, think back. How many times have the Dolphins had 4 or less wins in their history. And how did it help them? What does 4 wins mean, the 4th pick in the draft? Who cares? I had the team at 9-7 to end the season. 8-8 or 7-9 wouldn't surprise me now with the loss of half our o-line, Gibson, Keller, and multiple injured defensemen.

But you're point is? We shouldn't be rooting for our team to win because that's what helps them win? We have no control over wins and losses, rooting to lose is pointless.

Phins, I have a compromise for you. Why don't the Dolphins first worry about winning something, ANYTHING (division title, playoff game, + .500 record) and then me and I'm sure many others will accept them hazing or pranking rookies and anyone else.

The thing that gets me is all these fools are doing everything BUT winning football games. If you're talking about weak, you need to include the Miami Dolphins in there. For YEARS we've been the mediocre team other teams laugh at when they see us on the schedule. Pats just give themselves 2 wins beginning of the Season. They know the Jets are going to play them tough, probably take a game. But MIAMI, hahaha, they laugh and joke like listening to Chris Rock.

WE ARE THE JOKE! And I'm sick of it as a fan. Sick of losing, year after year after year. While these fools are having a great time in the locker room collecting their "virgin tax." EFFE THAT! I'm not getting paid millions. I'm not on TV. I don't get endorsements. I'm in my part of the country, wearing THESE COLORS, and getting laughed at year after year because my team can't seem to get out from under itself.

So, yeah, until they do something of relevance, I say take EVERY SINGLE DROP OF FUN out of the team. Make it sterile like a hospital. Dock players if you hear one decibel of laughter. What's there to laugh at (unless they're watching tape and laughing about how they give up in the 2nd half of games and give away 14 point leads like free samples at Wegman's). I don't give a damn if the players want to have fun. I WANT RESULTS.

And I'm not getting them your way. So let's try my way. Don't produce, and this is the team you get, a sour, depressing, 'Joe Versus the Volcano'-like work atmosphere. Maybe that will encourage these LOSERS to pick up their diapers and WIN 9 games. If they can't do that, I say kill 'em all.

Later guys, going out for Tacos...

Shut up Mark you pri#k. ;) I hope you were being sarcastic because that would be funny! I know the story was pretty corny but I wanted to tell it.

I just feel the people who get so mad are the people who don't even have any black friends. They never seem to understand the dynamic in a mixed friendship like that.

Phins, I have a compromise for you. Why don't the Dolphins first worry about winning something, ANYTHING (division title, playoff game, + .500 record) and then me and I'm sure many others will accept them hazing or pranking rookies and anyone else.

Horrible compromise. You want the team to stop having fun until they win titles? Makes no sense.

Every team in sports has some kind of hazing ritual for their rookies. They don't stop doing it because they haven't won in a while. That seems silly to me.

Posted by: DC Dolfan | November 06, 2013 at 04:47 PM

NAILED IT DC!!! Miami fans do not understand the abuse us Dolphins fans in another city must take. I live in NYC....Giants, Jets, Bills and Pats fans galore. I have the old Dolphins logo tattooed on my arm since 1977!! I wear a diamond crusted pendant with the Dolphins logo...all the other officers are Jets or Giants fans...talk about locker room abuse!!

The thing that gets me is all these fools are doing everything BUT winning football games. If you're talking about weak, you need to include the Miami Dolphins in there.

DC

But that's not what we're talking about and that hasn't been brought up for discussion by anyone because all the media is talking about is Martin and Cogs.

I have come down on the team A LOT, surely you've seen my posts. But right now this is the topic of discussion and one has absolutely nothing to do with the other imo.

Tobi Gerhart plus others like John Lynch, John Elway, Bob Whitfield, Jim Plunkett et al. Weak players? Come on...That is just a silly statement.

And as much as I hate USC, are you saying Polamalu, Clay Mathews, Brian Cushing and a host of other greats are weak?

Posted by: Arturo | November 06, 2013 at 04:02 PM

USC aside your talking about a Conf. in the PAC were players don't tend to pan out, sorry! Your argument is Plunkett from the 68 draft to Elway in the 83 draft on to Luck in the 2012 draft. Seems they tend to produce a QB every 20 Yrs. You really don't see the stupidity of what your attempting to argue? Ryan Leaf out of Wash. St. anyone?

Im out people...I gotta go get a Taco and watch lobstertube!!

"I'm not getting paid millions."

Neither are the players. It's a common misconception with fans. The majority of players make less than that.

And you're not comparing your job to theirs are you? Do you make your company billions of dollars? If so you hopefully would be fairly compensated.

Do you get smashed in the face every day by men the size of some small cars? I doubt it.

Is your job going to end in 4 years due to an injury that forces you to limp for the rest of your life or have blinding, debilitating headaches 24/7?

I hate when people compare themselves to professional athletes and act like they are spoiled. They put their bodies on the line every day. They are treated like cattle. They are under intense pressure and scrutiny. They give up their family life and don't get to see their kids grow. The company they work for is a multi billion dollar business. For all of these reasons and more they are paid good money. But for most of them considering an average career lasts 4 years it's not enough.

The dolphins suck anyways

Gannon is in total support of Martin as was Madden and many others. They all agreed that it goes to a vacume in leadership in the Dolphins locker room. That we cannot debate....we have no leadership!

Posted by: Bill Arnsparger | November 06, 2013 at 04:23 PM

Bill,

Love your posts but your really going to argue Madden's Locker Room with guys like Jack "THE ASSASSIN" Tatum, John Matuszack, Ted Hendricks and QB ringleader the Snake?

And I'm not getting them your way. So let's try my way. Don't produce, and this is the team you get, a sour, depressing, 'Joe Versus the Volcano'-like work atmosphere.

DC

You don't remember the year after Cameron was fired? The team was doing nothing but clowning around under him. They had no respect for the man and would even laugh and continue playing cards when he spoke. So they tried your way. They brought in Parcells, mr no nonsense, even kicked the reporters out of the facility.

It worked one year because of some lucky bounces and then the players complained that it was too rigid. That Sparano nit picked too much and didn't allow them to have fun. Ricky Williams did a whole interview about it.

Question. Were you one of the people in here calling for Sparano's head or did you want him to continue being our coach?

Question. How in the heck can you justify punishing players who come in after the draft and in free agency from other teams for something they didn't do. And the people you're punishing them for aren't on the team anymore?

Good luck signing free agents when other players tell them there is a 'no fun clause' in the contract.

mixed friendships??? Wow...

I really want to boycott this blog because I really dislike Armando Salguero...like a lot...but I enjoy mixing it up with you nimrods...pickle...

Hey, before you got here some of the players used to joke around and we never won so we aren't allowing any joking around now because we're convinced this is the way a team wins titles. Come on DC, you're a great guy but I think you're mad like the rest of us and aren't seeing the big picture.

Sure, I would go along with your plan if every single player was the same next season but you know.

Free Ritchie!

You like that Jack? I coined a new phrase. I figured they use the phrase mixed relationships so why not. Was shorter than saying "a white and black guy who are friends". You know you love it. :)

The suspension is just SOP for any business at all...if an employee is reported for gross misconduct they must be dismissed until an investigation is complete...the media is all over this story because of the phrase..."BULLY"...and that's the only reason...because that's the hot ticket term...hell the racial slur is the only thing I take issue with and even that is over-shadowed by the term BULLY...and folks like Armando and Omar are just looking to cash the ticket in...it's pathetic really...

Another note...if Cogs was really destroying Martin that bad then maybe he should have put a slug in his dome spot...give Martin a pass for it too...This GD society tries to save everyone...well guess what fkers...its not possible!!! Place is over-populated anyway...weed out the WEAK...that's what lions do to a heard of fkin gazelle...weed out the weak...we will all be better for it...

I'm tired of all the crying. "I'm being bullied", "I have a concussion" It's Football!!!! Get over it!! Next thing you know, Boxers and MMA guys are going to be crying about it too. Oh wait, maybe Nascar drivers are going to sue each other when they get wrecked. They know the risks and expectations. You don't like it? Go find a different career. Bunch of freaking cry babies.

herd...

Personally I don't get why anything has to be considered mixed...concerning races...I mean it's 2013 right??? We do all understand the history and evolution of the HUMAN RACE...right???

I will no doubt be using the phrase "mixed friendship" in the future...be like...

"What's up later on man?"
"Oh, I'm in a mixed friendship with this Puerto Rican guy and we are going to a parade later..."


WOOOOOOO!

LMAO at the b.s. excuses used to defend Richie.

Next on the slate THE JERRY SPRINGER SHOW perfect situation for Da Show.Cool Beans media types you all can milk this one indefinitely especially if the Fins lose.
Now the scribes have a built in excuse.Hello lets turn the page on the comic book.

Based on Tannehills comments I firmly believe Martin was mad about moving back to RT...if Martin is still a LT this NEVER comes up...he was upset and pouting about the move...he was probably getting a hard time for it and he acted like a bytch...he walked out on the TEAM...and then threw Cogs under the bus to try to save his own pathetic arse...the end...this dude has made ZERO comment and that is bogus...Cogs has at least said no comment...which is what the ACCUSED should do...Martin is leaking shyt out from the safety of his home then checks into a hospital??? Really??? At least release a written statement...but there is no statement...there is only a media witch hunt taking place on my beloved Phins...because Jonathan Martin is a lil Bytch...and ESPN hates the Dolphins...

Haha!!! Problem with my comment mediator??? Don't like it??? Well...I don't like you either...

What a complete laughter this organization has turned into. And Stephen Ross expects fans to actually reach into their pockets to see this trash play?

Oh, and BTW, Johnathan Martin IS soft. He and Richie Incognito were a part of the WORST O-line in the NFL. These Dolphins players want to talk like their tough and macho, well, you sure as hell don't play like it, especially on offense.

I completely blame Jeff Ireland for this atrocious team.

Armando, can you please report something that has to do with football? How are the Dolphins preparing for Tampa? Any important injuries going into the game?

Der Me jocke too! Me play pig ball in hai skool too. Me go through haze. Me white and team no racist. It is tradishon. We jock and we do what jock do. We haze. We no racist. We just make racist joke. Martin is baby. He know take jock joke like we give jock joke. He too learned in book. He too soft. We put Martin in his place! That how is pig ball work.

I no black jock but i know what black jock feel. Black jock should feel like brother not black jock. Black jock should take white jock joke as joke, not bully. Black jock get over it. Black jock fun white jock too and we no cry like baby because we jock we strong we play pig ball. Martin is baby. Martin is woman body part. Team no see Martin as black jock or white jock. Team no see man in Martin. So team hate martin. You no understand because you no jock.

Black jock no supoort martin even. black jock support me. theirfore me no racist. Like say in story: "Cris Carter has know Mike Pouncey since the player's childhood." and he say no race. And he know mike pouncey. He know him!

I am 44 years old. From the northeast and have been a dolfan as long as I can remember. I am traveling to Florida in a week and was looking forward to seeing another game in person in the home dolphins stadium. I have traveled several times to buffalo and New York City to watch dolphin games. I am disgusted with this organization all the way around. Wether it was a lack of institutional control, Martin needing to toughen up, or Richie being a jerk. I am sick of routing with a lot of passion for this team and being disappointed year in and year out. When will it stop and we can have a team we can all be proud of.

At this point, I'm persuaded by the players and some of the people commenting here (drsamii particularly) that Incognito is not a racist. The "honorary black guy" is a real thing. My best friend from high school (which was like 75 percent nonwhite) is black, and he told me on multiple occasions that I was honorary.

As a 16-year-old white guy, I had no idea what that meant exactly, and I never asked him to elaborate. I just thought it was cool. But he was my best friend. We didn't care that we had different skin colors. That's how I interpreted "honorary," and I viewed it as just affirming our brotherhood.

At no point did I ever use the N-word, and it never occurred to me that I might get away with using it around him. Personally, I think that word is the small pox of the English language and should be eradicated by everyone. But that isn't the real world. In the real world, this kind of thing happens.

One of my college roommates (a white guy) told me that he did some of his undergraduate work at a historically black university in the South. As such, virtually all of his close friends were black, and he got a pass for using the N-word on one occasion, though his friends cautioned him to be careful who exactly he said that around. Basically, it was OK around them, because he was honorary *to them*, but strangers wouldn't view it that way.

Right now, we're being subjected to a bunch of pontification on the subject by mostly white sportswriters who don't really understand how it works (to be fair, the coverage has improved today from what I've seen). I'm not even blaming them exactly. Anyone who has never heard the expression "honorary black guy" would react the same way initially. I did too, until this story came out, and then I was reminded of my own experiences.

Even some of the other current and former NFL players who have spoken out get fairly small weight in my book because they aren't actually in that locker room. If the black Dolphins players say Incognito is honorary, I think we have to accept that, especially if we're trying to claim that he's a racist.

Now, we can debate about whether the conduct in general was acceptable (though, a locker room doesn't resemble an office, so it's hard to judge it by the same standards). But that's a separate issue. I believe his teammates that he isn't a racist.

It was bad what happened, but obviously this is an accepted practice in the NFL locker room to toughen guys up. Most NFL players do not seem to mind what incognito did. Pro football is a violent/physical/emotional and mental game, esp the O line, You better be one tough SOB. This will not change. I think people need to understand the average person/fan does not know what goes on in an NFL locker room. Incognito might of went to far and Martin might not be NFL material.

Obviously those guys know NOTHING ABOUT BLACK HISTORY in our country. Idiots! They are also very ignorant. And basically just trying to keep their jobs by saying the "right things" pretty pathetic. Pathetic. If they found out that he called their black teammate a N-----! They should have made him "understand" that as "black men" that simply will not be tolerated. But its ok because he's "ONE OF US?" They (thru their cowardice,) have shamed every person both black & white whit died marching for civil rights during the early & late 1960's! They are the very essence of cowards.

There seems to be a disconnect between the law and the locker room.
It doesn't really matter what the teammates think...they may be culpable and not even realize it...which is why an independent investigation is required.

The conduct policies in the NFL are about professional behavior. The locker room is about sticking up for "your brothers". I get the latter, which is a macho ideal that is outdated. The law does not take into account the workplace situation.

Therefore, any consideration by their teammates is irrelevant and in fact may indicate a deeper problem the Dolphins may have in adhering to the law.

Richie Incognito is the very epitome of a bully; he is charming, loud and brash and people whom he respects fall into his "brotherhood". He treats people that he respects like family. You'd better hope and pray that he respects you or he will identify you as "weak" and then you have a problem.

It doesn't matter whether or not he had a justifiable reason not to respect Martin or not, this is not how you treat a fellow human let alone a fellow teammate. The true measure of a man is in how he respects the people he has power over, how he treats the people he doesn't consider part of his inner circle.

There is a line and Incognito crossed WAY over it. Was Martin "soft"? I don't know. It really doesn't matter. There is no justifiable reason to treat people this way. All these lame excuses are just a way to reward poor behavior.

My favorite saying: "There is a difference between joking around and being amused by acting like a jerk". Incognito thinks he's just "joking around with a teammate" when he is treating them like garbage. That doesn't make it funny. It just makes him a poor evaluator of what is funny and what is inappropriate.

I don't care how "honary" a non-black person is or thinks he is, NO African-American man on planet fking earth wants to be called a ni**er by a white guy or a non-black guy. NONE.

If the black team members didn't say anything or laughed it off or are defending Incognito calling a black man a ni**er, it's probably because they are scared of the backlash and want to keep their jobs. Look at what JM is going through right now--and they call him soft?! Ha. Seems like he has bigger balls than anyone in the Dolphins locker room, including the coach. They don't want to go through what JM is going through, so they just sit like good little house ni**ers and laugh it off and let it happen, to themselves and others. Sick. Hope Martin is staying strong.

**honorary***

Bring back Incognito!!!!

I feel sorry for what happens...Sorry for Martin and Incognito...Gnito is probably not racist...just a white dude who grew up in the hood and feels like he's white...but gnito should had not bullied this kid.

Anybody see stripes? "Any of you homos touch me I'll kill ya. " in print that's pretty graphic. In real life it's bullshitting.

Martin is "White" and Richie is "Black." Does this NOT make sense to anyone who is 35 years old or under!!??

Great blog Mando

I think that they were probably having a secret relationship with each other and once incognito broke it off the Martin got upset and brought his "issue" to the media

I'm amazed at the lack of any kind of knowledge among many of you who have posted about this. The Black men in that locker room exemplify everything that's wrong with sports. Most of those so called supporters of Incognito will be broke within five years. And when he pulls out his White card down the road and is doing well for himself, while these idiots are trying to figure out where their next meal is coming from, we shall see just how "Black" he is.

You morons who are dissing Martin are like a bunch of defense attorneys. Blame the victom and praise the perp. Then just maybe your jury of Dolfans will acquit Incognito. It's obvious the Dolphin players are just circling the wagons to take cover from the coming onslaught. If Incognito's black, then I'm a Martian. Deep down you all know the Phins suck and why they suck. They're dead on the beach, rotting away and stinking up the place because they're dysfunctional from Ross on top to management to the coaching staff and most of their players. Nothing like this could possibly happen with the Colts or the Patriots or the Broncos. And until you morons accept this and stop focusing your wrath on Martin, nothing's going to change.

I'm not sure a nice person would ring you up, threaten to beat up your mother, and threaten to rape you

Here we go again,,,,,,his team-mates don't consider Incongnito's actions racist,,,,so that settles it??? Spare me, please, Incongnito isn't racist,,,,he's ignorant, and anyone supporting that behavior is equally ignorat.

This is the dumbest article I've ever read and some of you ignorant people are insane. I don't care if you're a product of your environment and grew up around a particular race you can NOT be considered that race in a locker room. That's like saying I'm considered white here at my job. Just ignorant. Incognito dropped the N bomb on the man and said he was going to smack his "real mother". How is this acceptable? Seriously?

People are so dumb

This is little more than PR crisis management.

The Dolphins/NFL in a rather desperate character assassination campaign to protect their product.

I don't know what "Incognito being black" has to do with him texting a guy saying he planned to rape him

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