Cornwell provides context to Martin’s “murder your family” text

At a time when it has been important — but impossible — to understand the context of communications occurring from Dolphins guard Richie Incognito to Dolphins tackle Jonathan Martin, lawyer David Cornwell has provided some important context to Martin’s “I will murder your whole f–king family” text message.

“[P]eople don’t know how John and I communicate to one another,” Incognito told Jay Glazer of FOX Sports. “For instance, the week before this went down, Jonathan Martin text me on my phone ‘I will murder your whole effing family’  Now did I think Jonathan Martin would murder my family? Not one bit. . . .  He texted me that.  I didn’t think he was going to kill my family.  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 of how we communicate with one another.”

Cornwell has posted on Twitter, without much explanation, what he claims to be the text message in question.

Despite Incognito’s characterization, it’s not a message that Martin typed with his fingers and/or thumbs.  Instead, he forwarded a photo of a woman holding a deranged-looking dog, with the “I will murder your whole f–king family” embedded in the photo as a caption.  The image originally was posted at

It paints a much different picture than Martin and Incognito trying to outdo each other with over-the-top messages that were typed up and sent in jest.  And if that’s the best Incognito can do when trying to characterize Martin as an equal participant in their “band of brothers” banter, maybe Martin really wasn’t participating.

90 responses to “Cornwell provides context to Martin’s “murder your family” text

  1. How does this in ANYWAY contradict the notion that the two used profane language with each other in jest?

    Seriously, how?

  2. Wasn’t aware that if people send things in a meme… that they are cleared of all wrong doing. Hold on, going to print out a “give me all the money and put it in the bag” meme and hand it to the local bank teller.

  3. Regardless, Martin obviously wasn’t appalled by the language if he would use it in a reciprocation to Richie.

  4. Also, what about the other 1100 or so txts? As I have been saying all along… what happens when the Dolphins/players etc dust off 2 years worth of videos/txts/audio/pictures that show martin did the same crap to everyone else?

  5. To me this kind of seems like it reaffirms that they were playing around saying these kinds of things. Because it has a silly picture of a dog then it’s totally okay instead of a voicemail which seems to have been said in jest by anyone who has herd it (still haven’t heard the context either) is COMPLETELY unacceptable?

    I don’t know about the rest of the world, but if I’m not on good terms with someone, I wouldn’t send a picture like that or leave a joking phone call. This gets more confusing by the day but I don’t think this helps Martin’s case.

  6. The picture is totally clear that Incognito and these guys just have a twisted sense of humor.

    Too bad this had to turn into a melodramatic media lynching of standard NFL locker room life.

  7. “And if that’s the best Incognito can do when trying to characterize Martin as an equal participant in their “band of brothers” banter, maybe Martin really wasn’t participating.”

    We’ve had a week of Martin’s best efforts to characterize it as a dangerous environment of bullying as well (and yet we somehow have him trying to claim that he’s not responsible for those leaks), and the tide has turned and no one believes him anymore.

  8. Enough already, the smack talked the heck out of each other. Somehow it went to far, it should have been kept in house not played out in the over hyping media. Now we have lawyers to tell us this is what he said and he really meant this, and it’s a race issue, where’s the Reverend Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton to stick their noses in here

  9. Now that Cornwell is involved this case has lost all credibility.

    Still trying to figure out what the Martins are trying to establish. If Martin texted, “I don’t blame you guys at all. It’s just the culture of the NFL and the locker room got to me a little.” Then why are we still having this conversation.

    Martin should have got all his facts together before venturing on this leave of absence and leaking all sorts of info to the media.

    Is Incognito as racist? NO

    Is Incognito going to kill Martin and his family? NO

    Did Martin use racial slurs as well? YES

    Did Martin “threaten” to kill also? YES

    Is this entire story a waste of time and skewed? YES

    People give me a break if you think this has not been going on in the NFL for generations. It is exactly why organizations have counseling/ therapy and self- help professionals.

    I can’t wait for Cornwells next enlightening message!

  10. @djdvd,
    It is only confusing when compared to the media’s presentation of the story. When you remove the music from the movie “Jaws” all you will see as a large rubber fish that is far from scary. The music is what adds the drama to what you see. In this case, the music happens to be the way the media are characterizing both Incognito and Martin. Look at the facts without all the other noise and it is apparent that this story has stretched into something different than what it truly was.

  11. Martin got himself in a pickle by leaving the team for emotional instability, has to find an angle to excuse it, and now he’s going to ruin several people’s careers for it. What a POS. And if the NFL hasn’t been wussified enough already in the past several years, now you’re going to see locker room conduct rules across the NFL to make sure no one could possibly ever be offended by a teammate. What a joke this scandal is. I hope Martin never plays another down in the NFL.

  12. Locker room behavior is over the top but that doesn’t change the fact that Martin couldn’t handle losing his job and the NFL pressure so he QUIT!!!!

    Now he is looking for a monetary out by ruining other people.

  13. Miami is a great city. I just spent some time there a couple of weeks ago, and always enjoy myself when there, but its football fans are living in a parallel reality. The Dolphins players and fans just keeping digging themselves into a deeper hole with their defense of Incognito and attacks on Martin. As for some other reality checks, it is time to give up the embargo of Cuba and the US was right to accede to Elián González father’s demands that González be returned to him in Cuba.

  14. Murder is absolutely hilarious! Well done guys!

    Also hilarious…spending a truck load of money in free agency and still sucking.

  15. I haven’t formed an opinion on this issue. But it is pretty obvious that you have.hey pro football talk start acting like you don’t have an agenda. That actually would be a first

  16. finfan, did the media suspend Incognito? No, the Dolphins suspended him. Maybe you should take another look at the facts.

  17. “conormacleod says:
    Nov 10, 2013 5:08 PM
    Not one former NFL player on the pregame shows today is sticking up for Incognito. Maybe posters here should ask themselves why they are.”

    Because we don’t have an agenda to spin everything for clicks and profit. Also, most are intelligent enough to take the word of all the people in the organization who are there day in and out with these two over a couple hack job analysts who haven’t been in a locker room in a decade.

  18. >>>>conormacleod says: Nov 10, 2013 5:08 PM Not one former NFL player on the pregame shows today is sticking up for Incognito. Maybe posters here should ask themselves why they are.<<<<

    Trying to give them some slack the Glazer interview and the fact he had 1100 text messages wasn't known to them at that time…..Jimmy Johnson for one said maby the Dolphins should have scouted Martin better. There were questions about him. Maby the Dolphins shouldn't have drafted him……..

  19. It would be scary how little you people understand context, but since it was always safer to assume you don’t know how to use logic I was luckily prepared for this.

  20. Not one former NFL player on the pregame shows today is sticking up for Incognito. Maybe posters here should ask themselves why they are.
    Then again, nearly all the current players are. That seems like a more interesting difference.

    I suppose it might have something to do with umpteen TV producers telling the talent which opinions are more acceptable for television.

  21. Is this Cornwell’s attempt to preempt Incognito’s interview??

    Trying this case in the media is not going to work. Unless more substantial information comes out, people have pretty much decided what the deal is and it doesn’t take a genius to figure out what happened here.

    Cornwell is working overtime digging for emails and texts that can be worked up into a lawsuit. This one won’t do it David.

    And you guys are calling it right. All information once on the table will show Martin probably used the N word himself and did plenty of so called ‘objectionable’ crap himself. Martin found a shark and Ritchie has his too.

    Game over Cornwell.

  22. As more and more of this story unfolds the media are the ones starting to look like idiots. Trying so hard to paint incognito and the dolphins in a negative matter when it looks like they really were just friends playing around and a joke went wrong. Funny how the media is now trying to take this obvious text sent for fun and say it’s nothing compared to incognito voicemail even though all they have never heard it or the tone in which it was left which I’m assuming was jokingly. The only circus here is the media trying to hustle up and still make this look bad for the dolphins and not themselves.

  23. Does it matter if my own fingers typed it or it was pasted from somewhere else? The guys on the NFL pregame show are like alot of the media. They came out early last week, guns blazing at Incognito. In America today, you don’t admit you were wrong and made a mistake, you continue to justify your opinion unless you can find someone else to blame. Someone should also take a look at the track record of most of those guys if you want to talk about locker room behaviour.

  24. The Dolphin fan reaction reminds me of the movie, Animal House: “But you can’t hold the whole Dolphin team responsible for the behavior of a few, sick twisted individuals. For if you do, then shouldn’t we blame the whole NFL? And if the whole NFL is guilty, then isn’t this an indictment of our pro sports teams in general? I put it to you, Commissioner Goodell – isn’t this an indictment of our entire American society? Well, you can do whatever you want to us, but we’re not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America.”

  25. We don’t know if Martin sent this as a response to the released voicemails and texts. We don’t know if he sent this as something he found funny and thought Incognito found it funny. Let’s not milk either guy for sending funny caption pictures. Some or most of us are guilty of sending things of this nature to each other but as friends. This photo would play very well on a show like The Colbert Report or The Daily Show. Does this text message mean they were friends? Yes. But it doesn’t suggest how close. There’s A LOT we don’t know, even former and current players are in the dark. When the investigation completes, then we may get a better picture of what went down in that Dolphins locker room.

  26. Anyone who has recently called Washington DC’s football team by their league approved nickname has spoken more hatefully than Incognito did.

    Incognito is owed an apology, and I want the last week of my life back.

    Jeff Ireland still has to be fired, even without the Incognito/Martin drama.

  27. Oddly, Incognito, “the dirtiest player in football,” is starting to look like the victim. Did NOT see that coming.

    I suspect this is the end for Ireland, though. Philban has shown enough as a coach they won’t dump him, but Ireland signed Igcognito, used a 2nd round pick on Martin, and made the “Martin should just punch him comment.”

    I’ve never been on the hate-Ireland bandwagon–he’s made a lot of good moves, too–but this has made the team a laughingstock the week after a WIN…someone has to answer.

  28. If he sent that to Incognoto then there is something still ‘off ‘ about this whole thing that hasn’t come to light as of yet…

    Its a given that Incognito is a DB…

    But its all too weird & not enough to explain all this. Either 1. Martin is positioning himself for a payday, 2. Martin is mentally unstable or 3. Their relationship is much more of the ‘personal & intimate’ type than they have led on…

  29. Seems like a bunch of guys that spend a lot of time with each other. Every once in a while one in my group with get all butt hurt and stay home, usually takes a little more name calling to get him back out of the house.

    If the facts prove that Martin was threatened, blackmail, or extorted than I will take his side but so far there haven’t been any facts presented.

  30. What’s Cornwell going to cry now? He has to be in full damage control now that Incognito proved he has over 1000 expletive texts from Martin. He tried to run the on the money train but that train looks like it’s losing steam now. Martin was upset because McKinnie took his job. He blew a gasket and lost it. I wonder what other dolphins players texts look like rec ivied from Martin also. They can retrieve old texts no problem. Let the investigation play out but it’s not looking good for Martin. He threw his team and friends under the bus.

  31. “It paints a much different picture than Martin and Incognito trying to outdo each other with over-the-top messages that were typed up and sent in jest. ”

    Um, no, no it really doesn’t.

  32. Did Cornwell have a reason why Martin was texting Incognito even after he left the Dolphins? If Incognito was so evil to Martin, why was Martin sending congratulatory texts to him? I think Cornwell was hoping to win money from the Dolphins before anyone had a chance to defend themselves.

  33. Kind of important to know whether this was a message sent just to Incognito (which would indicate “Here’s something my buddy will laugh at”) or a text to a group of contacts (“Here’s something a lot of people I am in regular contact with will enjoy”).

  34. This is looking more and more like Martin wrongly accused Incognito. A the very least, it’s no longer crystal clear that Incognito bullied Martin out of the locker rom. Yet Miami’s knee jerk reaction is keeping Incognito from earning a paycheck. His suspension should be lifted immediately until this whole mess is sorted out.

  35. My friends and I send stuff like this back and forth all the time. In fact this one is pretty PG, compared to stuff we send.

    It not about race, it not like we are going to really follow through with it. Martin is USING this. he did not want to play football or was upset he lost his job. His family concocted this whole farse, so he could collect payment from the team and or get cut.

  36. tigerlilac says:
    Nov 10, 2013 5:17 PM
    finfan, did the media suspend Incognito? No, the Dolphins suspended him. Maybe you should take another look at the facts.
    The Dolphins suspended Incognito based on his past issues and the volatile e-mail that was getting a lout of attention and a huge public outcry. If they would have done nothing at that time, the organization would have fared far worse than it already has. One thing that many people aren’t considering is that Incognito was most likely NOT going to be re-signed after this year. Philbin didn’t seem to be too fond of him but with the state of the o-line in the pre-season (and the support he had/has from the players), he had to keep him. If a viable line would have surfaced in the pre-season, the odds of his release this year was about 50/50. The interesting aspect to this is if the Dolphins have been shown any of Martin’s texts. If there is similar stuff would the suspend hi? Probably not based on the history but after considering the betrayal and embarrassment they must feel right now, they just might.

  37. All this shows is that each of them sent texts that while inappropriate in almost any other setting, these texts were/are the norm in the Dolphins locker room and likely throughout the league.

    It’s true this is a situation that got went too far, but not necessarily solely by Incognito. The culprit: Follow the money. My guess: Martin’s father found out about the texts, and saw a way to kill two birds with one stone. 1) Save his son’s honor (in his eyes) and 2) Make the Dolphins, NFL, and/or Incognito pay enough that Martin didn’t have to worry about setting foot in a locker room again. In the end, sad, just plain sad.

  38. Funny now, how quick the media wants to put Martin’s messages “into context”. They couldn’t do that with Incognito’s this quickly, now could they.

  39. Neither the Dolphin players or the coaches had any idea that Martin was “being bullied”. They saw him and Incognito sitting together on the plane, at lunch, talking all the time, going out together and figured they’re friends. Never gave it a second thought. How are they supposed to know what is inside this guys head? Jonathan Martin does not want to play football and doesn’t want to lose millions of dollars either. The shame of the whole thing is all the Dolphins coaches and front office people are going to get canned. I hope this dude can sleep at night.

  40. Don’t forget about the N word comment. Sorry but that is what is the kicker in all this. Love how Miami media Armando Salguero tried to spin the well Incognitonis an honorary blac man, HUH! Good try homer

  41. I mean – are coaches responsible for reading players text messages and checking their voice mail messages? The way these blowhards on ESPN are talking – the coach should know what is on Martin’s voice mail and texts.

  42. I’m glad the texts that I have sent to my buddies in the past aren’t being read in the media for the whole world to hear. I probably get thrown in jail.

  43. It seems patently clear from the comments, and voting on said comments, that Cornwell’s (and Florio’s, despite his claims of open-mindedness) attempt to control the message to the public and to steer it in Martin’s favor was a complete, unmitigated failure!

  44. Doesn’t matter. He still played the same game and if you listened to Jimmie Johnson today I think he hit it spot on. Martin lost his starting position this year. He is already a bit of a head case and now it is because of everyone else. He’s a piece. A big one. Poor him.

  45. All Martin’s reps are trying to do is save his money. He wanted to quit but is smart enough to know that this kind of money doesn’t come with most jobs – whether you went to Stanford or not. I’d love to see the text messages of other NFL players or non-NFL players for that matter – it just so happens that the Dolphins got caught up in this mess and they will pay the price (at least their coach and GM and several others will).

  46. Florio – I love how as soon as someone disputes something that Jonathan Martin did or said – the headline reads “context provided” – where was this headline last week?

  47. Wrong interpretation, Florio. It simply proves it was MERELY a joke. No one who is seriously intending to murder a family goes out and finds a jpg created as a joke – and emails it.

  48. Foghorn,
    The use of the so called “race card” is why this is so disgusting because I beleive it’s why of all the correspondence that allegedly led up to Martin being pushed over the edge last weekend, he went back to that race tinged voice maile from April, that’s 6 months ago for those of you who can’t do math. When I heard it was from that long ago, then heard all of the teammates saying he was running around with the message playing it for people, and then have subsequently heard other accounts from within the Miami locker room, it became clear to me that this young man knew what he was doing. The media is having a hard time with this one because they got played. Richie

    Incognito definitely shouldn’t be using the n-word, but if black players in the locker room don’t have a problem with him talking that way, which is obviously the case, and Martin spoke to him in that way without a problem with him talking back to him that way, I just find it hard to believe this guy was so scared and that any of this came from “bullying.” Seems all too convenient to me, especially considering the timing when McKinney was traded for.

  49. If the “N’ word is okay to be used by some, it is okay to be used by all.

    Tired of hearing that it is okay for a black person to use it, when talking to other blacks. But if a white person uses the word, its racist.

    You can not have it both ways.

  50. getitrightflorio says:

    Hopefully Ross move this team out of Miami. No wonder why players run from this organization. Even Jason Taylor went to the Jets of all teams. That said a lot.
    You sound like you are from some town that doesn’t have an NFL team and are wishful thinking. This is not a ‘Miami’ town problem, it is a Dolphins problem. For your information, the N word is used across the USA.

    The N word is said in ALL NFL locker rooms. Get thyself educated on that front. It is not used in a hostile manner by the people that use it (black athletes). When white athletes use the word, they forget there is a social double standard attached to it.

    There is tacit approval by all when the word is used. They dance to it from JZ’s music. Hostile environment indeed with a little hypocrisy. When it comes out publicly, the media searches for a boogyman and its victims because they need a story and the talking heads need another fifteen minutes.

    BTW, if the team moves, you would still have the same absentee owner who hires dumb people to run the team. The Miami fan base is jaded with a low tolerance for losing and shenanigans. While other fans would be suicidal, Miami fans would be at the beach drinking mojito on some topless beach.

  51. Martin needs to come out and speak, and stop hiding behind a fancy attorney. What, is he scared to come and do that??? Please he’s hiding in California with his parents, just speak and stop being a complete jerk. He quit the team, no one else did.

  52. Actually, this would appear to back up a claim of a mutual “inside” joke running on between at least those two players. At this point we need to to avoid judgment of any party until much more of the bigger picture is out there for review. So far, the news regarding this topic keeps see-sawing back and forth as new bits of info surface. Rather than continue to ping-pong between determinations, it’s time to bear with the process and let it play out. When we can better determine the whole course of events here, it will be a better time to assess the situation, the lessons to take away from it, and what actions or punishments are merited in due response to the truth.

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