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NFLPA confirms that Incognito grievance has been filed

Incognito Getty Images

The NFLPA has confirmed that a grievance has been filed regarding the ongoing suspension of Dolphins guard Richie Incognito.

“Richie Incognito filed a non-injury grievance against his employer, the Miami Dolphins, pursuant to his rights under the Collective Bargaining Agreement,” the NFLPA said in a statement.  “The grievance challenges his suspension for conduct which was alleged to have occurred while he was with the club.  In the grievance, Incognito requests that the hearing be held on an expedited basis so that he can immediately resume playing for the team. The NFL Players Association will continue to protect the rights of all players.”

The NFLPA continues to try to strike a delicate balance, protecting the rights of alleged victims like Jonathan Martin and alleged agressors like Incognito.  In this specific case, the best way to harmonize the obvious conflict of interest is to find a way to paint Incognito as a victim, too, perhaps via the “Code Red” defense.

As we understand it, the notion that Incognito was merely carrying out orders won’t hold water — and that the evidence Martin produces to independent investigator Ted Wells on Friday will show that multiple teammates went far beyond what could reasonably be expected, even if there was an order to toughen up Martin.

Which means that the NFLPA eventually could be defending other alleged aggressors, too.

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21 Responses to “NFLPA confirms that Incognito grievance has been filed”
  1. ialwayswantedtobeabanker says: Nov 14, 2013 6:24 PM

    What does the NFLPA do if it’s factually determined to be a Player on Player crime?

    It’ll be interesting – because the only driver that seems to motivate the Player’s Union – is whether, victim or accused, the the one who who is claiming they’re aggrieved must simply qualify as a player.

    Here, it’s not so simple – as both Martin and Incognito are members of union.

  2. d0minate says: Nov 14, 2013 6:26 PM

    Hmm, Ray Lewis:

    Their murders remain unsolved. But as the anniversary of their deaths approaches — and as Lewis dances into the sunset of his NFL career — the victims’ relatives are still seething at him. While Priscilla Lollar says she’s “numb” to Lewis, others want answers. And justice.

    “My nephew was brutally beaten and murdered and nobody is paying for it,” Baker’s uncle, Greg Wilson, told USA TODAY Sports. “Everything is so fresh in our mind, it’s just like it happened yesterday. We’ll never forget this.”

    Only Lewis pleaded guilty in relation to the case: for obstruction of justice, a misdemeanor. He originally was charged with two counts of murder but struck a deal with prosecutors in exchange for his testimony against two of his companions that night, Reginald Oakley and Joseph Sweeting.

    Lewis never directly linked his two friends to the killings, and they were acquitted. Lewis had testified that Oakley, Sweeting and another man had gone to a sporting goods store the previous day to buy knives. Baker’s blood later was found in Lewis’ limo. Having fled the crime scene, Lewis told the limo’s passengers to “keep their mouths shut.” The white suit Lewis was wearing that night — on Super Bowl Sunday — never was found.

    “I’m not trying to end my career like this,” Lewis said in his hotel that night, according to the testimony of a female passenger in the limo.

    He didn’t. For his punishment, Lewis received one year of probation and a $250,000 fine by the NFL.

    Then Ahmad Brooks:
    Ahmad Brooks Hits 49ers Teammate in Head with Beer Bottle

    No Suspensions in either case.

  3. osiris33 says: Nov 14, 2013 6:29 PM

    If I was incognito, I would have done this the day clueless Joe suspended me. There’s no evidence he’s guilty of anything except making vulgar jokes, which Martin appearantly found funny, by the way.

  4. thegreatgabbert says: Nov 14, 2013 6:32 PM

    The alleged grievance will be ruled on by an alleged arbitrator in as yet unamed alleged location. Where he will issue unfounded innuendo implying alleged guilt or innocence.

  5. rajbais says: Nov 14, 2013 6:53 PM

    Now it needs to confirm the following:

    the Dolphins knee-jerk reacted and breached his contract.

    Do you always keep money after firing people for cause when the cause is either not explicit or disputable???

    The Fins have done this, but I personally wish that Incognito did this before MNF.

    Losing one game check shows more guilt. Doing it before the game starts make you look less guilty.

  6. Deb says: Nov 14, 2013 6:54 PM

    What does a term paper on Ray Lewis have to do with this topic?

  7. Deb says: Nov 14, 2013 7:02 PM

    If other players are involved, it lends credibility to the “Code Red” defense–and presents a problem for the team. No, “following orders” doesn’t excuse abuse. But you don’t just suspend the order-takers and ignore the order-givers. If any coach told Incognito to “toughen up” Martin, that coach bears some responsibility for what happened next … especially if Martin reported the problem to the team and was ignored.

  8. ialwayswantedtobeabanker says: Nov 14, 2013 7:07 PM

    What does the NFLPA do if it’s factually determined to be a Player on Player crime?

    It’ll be interesting – because the only driver that seems to motivate the Player’s Union – is whether, victim or accused, the the one who who is claiming they’re aggrieved must simply qualify as a player.

    Here, it’s not so simple – as both Martin and Incognito are members of union.

  9. nflgreedleague says: Nov 14, 2013 7:26 PM

    Anyone one whom assumes someone is guilty before all the facts are known could very well be in the wrong.

  10. thestrategyexpert says: Nov 14, 2013 7:27 PM

    I think Incognito has good chances with this grievance. The key is the delineation of the “code-red and related orders” that his grievance likely summarizes to the NFLPA. One man’s “conduct detrimental to the team” is the rest of the teams’ opinions that he was a great teammate. Incognito is citing that following instructions is a commendable team trait and just about everybody knows it.

  11. FinFan68 says: Nov 14, 2013 7:41 PM

    @Deb,
    I agree with most of what you said but the NFL has a problem with going after the coaches for telling guys to “toughen up” a player. The league has already tacitly approved that. The Jets version of Hard Knocks showed at least one coach telling players to “toughen up” Vernon Gholston (sp?) and even encouraged them to start fights in order to do it. IIRC, Roger made a passing comment about it after that episode aired. What would be the difference in this case? (Other than Gholston not running to the funny farm to gin up a lawsuit)

  12. thestrategyexpert says: Nov 14, 2013 7:47 PM

    Well at least the rest of us can benefit from the future of a drastically lower market price for tuna fish. They will have to compete with the new influx of dolphin meat that suddenly crashes the scene.

  13. jetsjetsjetsnow says: Nov 14, 2013 7:50 PM

    It still all just sounds like a bunch of competing allegations & finger pointing….

  14. thestrategyexpert says: Nov 14, 2013 7:55 PM

    I’m also willing to bet $10 that the last line of the grievance memo says:

    Mr. Incognito also expects to be playing this week.

  15. Ferdinand says: Nov 14, 2013 9:17 PM

    The next time the NFLPA agrees that a player should be punished for anything will be the first time.

  16. thereyougo2 says: Nov 14, 2013 9:28 PM

    Dolphins. Droopy dog Ross, Jeffie Ireland and Joe Schmoo head coach. Bet on Incognito.

  17. thewizardofbs says: Nov 14, 2013 10:28 PM

    To think that anyone, especially someone as honorable as Philbin, Ireland or Ross would issue a code red is stupid. There was NO CODE RED! It was called code martin…

  18. Deb says: Nov 14, 2013 11:19 PM

    @FinFan68 …

    Wow … didn’t know that. Then how does the league go after Incognito and the Dolphins players if they didn’t go after the Jets? This thing just gets more and more complicated.

  19. doggeatdogg says: Nov 14, 2013 11:54 PM

    We got this far. It’s time we hear from all sides but there’s been public manipulation by the media with the social flavor of the month ‘bullying,’ and Martin and his group about what happened.

    If he feels he was victimized, we got that. That Martin is being treated for PTSD is incredibly elaborate to me and over the top as if this diagnosis was dragged out of the psychiatrist for maximum effect in a lawsuit. It makes me ill. Makes me think of vets dying in the Middle East and past wars.

    He had his say through the lawyers and the media of course. I want to hear the other side of the story from Incognito. Something else went on between these two guys. I hope the lawyers have the guts to ask.

    Hopefully they get a very smart no nonsense jurist who sees through the menuscha the two sides will try to push through.

  20. saintsfire says: Nov 15, 2013 6:51 AM

    well according to Mike Tirico

    Incognito was assessed a penalty in the Monday Night Football game.

    A game which Incognito did not play…

    Dunno if Tirico was joking as he often does… or if he had Incognito on the brain. Could have been an honest slip or a Freudian slip dunno.

    Hey, I like Mike Tirico, he does a good job on MNF, a lot better than some stiffs that will go unnamed. It does seem like Incognito could sue Tirico also for defamation of character.

    Like everytime they pan to the booth Tirico is cracking up or cracking a joke. I’m sure an apology from Tirico would be no problem.

  21. mogogo1 says: Nov 15, 2013 12:09 PM

    “Which means that the NFLPA eventually could be defending other alleged aggressors, too.”

    Well, yeah, that’s because alleged aggressors are also part of the union. This is no different from how the NFLPA defends guys who are accused of violating the substance abuse policy. Seriously, would anybody be comfortable belonging to a union that would disown them the second they were accused of something? Plenty to dislike about the NFLPA, but they’re doing what must be done in this case.

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