BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Miami Dolphins lineman Richie Incognito says the drama surrounding himself and his teammate Jonathan Martin is not a bullying issue.
Jessica Kartalija has the latest.
In an interview with Fox Sports, Incognito says he took things too far but never meant to hurt his teammate.
“I never, I never, I never meant it that way,” Incognito said.
Richie Incognito says he’s embarrassed by the language he used with teammate Jonathan Martin.
“No matter how bad and vulgar it sounds, that’s how we communicate. That’s how our friendship was. Those are the facts and that’s what I’m accountable for,” he said.
Incognito says his actions came from a place of love.
“As the leader, as his best friend on the team, that’s what has me miffed–how I missed this,” he said. “And I never saw it coming.”
Martin left the team two weeks ago after accusing Incognito and others of harassment. Incognito gave Fox Sports more than 1,100 text messages he exchanged with Martin over the past year. One of them–sent by Martin–was sent just three days after he left the team.
One of them says, “Just know I don’t blame you guys at all. It’s just the culture around football and the locker room got to me a little.”
“I blame the culture. I blame what was going on around me,” Incognito said. “If I was a racist and I was bullying John Martin, that locker room would have said, `I saw this; I saw that.’ I’m proud of my guys for having my back and telling the truth. I’ve taken stuff too far and I didn’t know I was hurting him.”
Martin has not spoken publicly about the issue. Both players are expected to discuss the case with the NFL special investigator.
“I think I’d give him a big hug. We’ve been through so much and I’d be like, `Dude, what’s going on?'” Incognito said.
Incognito was kicked off of the team at the University of Nebraska and cut by the St. Louis Rams for issues that included run-ins with teammates and coaches.
Under the labor deal between the NFL and players’ union, Incognito’s suspension can last a maximum of four games.
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