Incognito tell's Fox's Glazer: 'I am not a racist'
FOX NFL insiderJay Glazer conducted an exclusive 1-on-1 interview with Miami Dolphins guard Richie Incognito following the well-publicized story that Incognito bullied teammate Jonathan Martin to the extent that Martin left the team. Incognito was then suspended indefinitely by the Dolphins.
Here now, highlights of the interview: You can watch it here...
Incognito:You can ask anybody in the Miami Dolphins locker room who had Jon Martins back the absolute most. And they will undoubtedly tell you, me.
Incognito:Jon never showed signs that football was getting to him, um, the locker room was getting to him.
Glazer:Youre saying you dont know what led to this. Your teammates are saying, 'We dont know.' His side has clearly said, 'Wedoknow.' OK, and theres bullying involved. There was a voice message left. Im going to read it to you. You did leave this voice message?
Incognito:Yes, I did leave this voice message.
Glazer:And its, 'Hey, whats up, you half N-word piece of blank. I saw you on Twitter, you been training 10 weeks. Want to blank in your blank mouth. Im going to slap your blank mouth. Going to slap your real mother across the face. (Laughter) Youre still a rookie. Ill kill you.' You hear that, going back to that now, do you look at that and say, 'I leftthatfor Jonathan Martin?'
Incognito:When I see that voicemail, when I see those words come up across the screen, Im embarrassed by it. Im embarrassed by my actions. But what I want people to know is, the way Jonathan and the rest of the offensive line and how our teammates, how we communicate, its vulgar. Its, its not right. When the words are put in the context, I understand why a lot of eyebrows get raised, but people dont know how Jon and I communicate to one another.
Glazer:But theres one thing of saying that, another thing with a white man using the N-word. How do you tell America, how do you expect anybody in America to believe youre not a racist?
Incognito: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 its friend to friend on a voicemail. I regret that.
Glazer:How much in todays locker room is it thrown around by African Americans and white players?
Incognito:Its thrown around a lot. Its a word that Ive heard Jon use a lot. Not saying its right for when I did it in the voicemail, but theres a lot of colorful words thrown around the locker room that we dont use in everyday life. The fact of the matter remains, though, that that voicemail was left on a private voicemail for my friend, and it was a joke.
Glazer:Right, wrong, or indifferent, because of all this, you've become the face of bullying in America. Someone thinks of a bully, they think of Richie Incognito.
Incognito: This isn't an issue about bullying. This is an issue of mine and Jon's relationship where I've taken stuff too far and I didn't know it was hurting him.
Glazer:Did Jonathan Martin overreact? Or was Jonathan hurting that much?
Incognito:I cant 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, thats how we communicate, thats how our friendship was, and those are the facts, and thats what Im accountable for.
Glazer:You're telling me there wasn't any signs going into that?
Incognito:As the leader, as his best friend on the team, that's what has me miffed how I missed this. I never saw it. I never saw it coming.
Glazer:Theres so many subplots in this. How much has come out, where you looked at it and said ... 'Thats not even close'?
Incognito:I think the whole thing, Ive been sitting here saying, 'Thats not even close.' It sounds terrible. It sounds, when its on the screen, it sounds like Im a racist pig, it sounds like Im a meathead. It sounds a lot of things that its not. And I want to clear the air just by saying Im a good person.
Glazer:You obviously have had a very checkered history. From way back in college all the way up to recently with last year with the incident at the golf course. Youre sitting up here and saying, 'Hey, Im a good guy.' Its difficult for us, as America, to grasp that when all they see are the episodes.
Incognito:Right, no question. And if you go by just all the knucklehead stuff Ive pulled in the past, done in my past, youre sitting in your home and youre thinking, 'This guy is a loose cannon, this guy is a terrible person, this guy is a racist.' When that couldnt be farther from the truth. If I was a racist and I was bullying Jon Martin, when the press went in there and asked them questions, that locker room would have said, 'Listen, we saw this, we saw that.' Im proud of my guys for having my back and telling the truth. But the fact of the matter is when Jon left the team on Monday, we played a game on Thursday. I spoke with Jon on Friday.
Glazer:You spoke with him?
Incognito:I texted with him, I text messaged, I spoke with him through text message. And he texted me and said, 'I dont 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, 'Whats up with this, man?' He said, 'It's not coming from me. I havent said anything to anybody.' And Im like, 'OK.'
Glazer:Would these be texts you would be willing to share?
Incognito:No question. I'll give you, after this interview, Ill give you my phone. And well walk through all these texts, and I will show you the framework of a friendship.
Glazer:If Jonathan Martin was sitting right here next to you, what would you say to him?
Incognito:I think, honestly, I think Id give him a big hug right now because weve been through so much and Id just be like, 'Dude, whats going on? Why didnt you come to me?' If he were to say, 'Listen, you took it way too far. You hurt me.' ... You know, I would just apologize and explain to him exactly what I explained to you, and Id apologize to his family. They took it as malicious. I never meant it that way.