MIAMI — Suspended Miami Dolphins guard Richie Incognito says teammate Jonathan Martin sent him a threatening text message as an apparent joke only a week before their relationship became the subject of a harassment case that has prompted an NFL investigation.
In an interview with Fox Sports televised Sunday, Incognito said he never took the threat seriously. Incognito said he regrets the racist and profane language he used with Martin, but said it stemmed from a culture of locker-room “brotherhood,” not bullying.
“A week before this went down, Jonathan Martin texted me on my phone — ‘I will murder your whole ... family,”’ Incognito said, quoting Martin as using a profanity. “Now did I think Jonathan Martin was going to murder my family? Not one bit. ... 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.”
Responding to the interview, Martin’s attorney tweeted the message Incognito quoted. The message was accompanied by two photos of a laughing woman holding a dog, suggesting it was intended as a joke.
“JMart’s text 2 Richie Incognito. U decide.....” attorney David Cornwell tweeted. That was the only response by Cornwell or Martin’s agent to requests from The Associated Press for comment on Incognito’s interview.
Incognito said Martin also sent him a friendly text four days after leaving the team to undergo counseling for emotional issues. The message came on the heels of the Dolphins’ overtime victory against Cincinnati.
“Wassup man? The world’s gone crazy lol. I’m good tho congrats on the win,” Martin said in a text verified by Fox Sports. “Yeah I’m good man. It’s insane bro but 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.”