Richie Incognito: I’m not a racist, don’t judge me by that word


Suspended Dolphins offensive lineman Richie Incognito admits that he called teammate Jonathan Martin the N-word on a voicemail, but Incognito says the two of them frequently engaged in ribald humor and no one should paint Incognito as a racist.

“I’m not a racist and to judge me by that one word is wrong,” Incognito told Jay Glazer on FOX.

Still, Incognito acknowledged that he shouldn’t have used the N-word, even as he also said it’s a word that he frequently hears Martin and other teammates use.

“In no way, shape or form is it ever acceptable for me to use that word, even if it’s friend to friend, on a voicemail,” Incognito said. “It’s thrown around a lot. It’s a word that I’ve heard Jon use a lot. Not saying it’s right when I did it in the voicemail, but there’s a lot of colorful words thrown around in the locker room that we don’t use in everyday life.”

Incognito said he and Martin communicated in a way that many people wouldn’t understand — including Martin texting Incognito and jokingly threatening to “murder your whole f–king family.” But Incognito knows how people view him right now.

“It sounds like I’m a racist pig. It sounds like I’m a meathead. It sounds a lot of things that it’s not. And I wanted to clear the air just by saying I’m a good person,” Incognito said. “I’m embarrassed by my actions, but what I want people to know is the way Jonathan and the rest of the offensive line, and our teammates, how we communicate, it’s vulgar. . . . People don’t know how Jon and I communicate to one another.”

Incognito noted that many of his teammates, white and black, have said they support him.

“If I was a racist and I was bullying Jon Martin, when the press went in there and asked questions, that locker room would have said, ‘Listen, we saw this, we saw that.’ I’m proud of my guys for having my back and telling the truth,” Incognito said.

Incognito said he’d give Martin a hug if they saw each other today, but he also said he wants Martin to explain to him why he didn’t tell him directly that there was a problem between them.

“I think I’d give him a big hug right now because we’ve been through so much, and I’d just be like, ‘Dude, what’s going on? Why didn’t you come to me?’ If he were to say ‘Listen, you took it way too far, you hurt me’ I would just apologize,” Incognito said. “I never meant it that way.”

Incognito may not have meant it that way, but Martin apparently took it that way.

50 responses to “Richie Incognito: I’m not a racist, don’t judge me by that word

  1. Not the hard hitting interview nobody thought it would be. Incognito needed a platform to do damage control on his public image, and Glazer provided it. Incognito came off well spoken, but really didn’t dive into the issue. Why should he when the guy doing the interview doesn’t ask anything.

    Him saying he’d give Martin a big hug made me erupt in laughter.

  2. African Americans call white folks “honky” but yet, thats okay. I’m not saying calling someone a derogatory name is okay because it’s not, but the race card is old.

  3. You fail to mention that richie produced text messages between them after martin left the team. They were friendly and martin didnt blame him for anything. RI was the scapegoat, now everyone should apologize to him

  4. Y’all are trying like hell to squeeze all the blood from this stone, aren’t ya?


  5. Incognito can say nothing right here. Anything he says will be taken out of context & misconstrued. I mean, ask yourself this. What if he’s telling the truth?

  6. He gave Jay his phone, and they have the texts. Jay’s comments say a lot.

    Richie is getting blasted by the media and haters who want to make this case about bullying, when CLEARLY, it’s not.

    Bullying is not back and forth. That’s guys being guys.

    Martin even told Richie after the Thursday night game, he DOESN’T BLAME Richie or the team.

  7. And the pendulum swings more toward Incognito’s favor, in my opinion. Incognito does come off as a meathead but he seemed very believable in the interview. He and Martin went back and forth as friends do. Then Martin decided he couldn’t take it any more and what apparently wasn’t a problem suddenly became a problem. So he walked out on his team and evidently didn’t do enough to escalate his concerns within the organization. That’s bad form. I don’t have a horse it this race – I just wish it was over already. But Martin has demonstrated poor judgment IMO and Incognito makes for a perfect scapegoat.

  8. “I’m a good person”?!? Is this guy for real? I agree, using the n-word doesn’t make a person a racist, but that isnt what his problem is. A good person doesn’t molest women. A good person doesn’t get into fights all the time. A good person doesn’t treat people the way he does.

    This guy is pathetic.

  9. “…but Martin apparantly took it that way?” Really????? What evidence leads to that conclusion? Martin’s text to Richie from last Friday? Certainly not. All the Fins players who validate Martin’s accounts of locker room hazing? Oh that’s right, there are none. Apparantly you haven’t been payong attention- there is NO EVIDENCE whatsoever to suggest that Martin took anything the wrong way- at all. Out of context voicemails that have been transcribed but not heard don’t count- especially now that we know that Martin sent several of those kinds of texts as well. The only thing that existing evidence shows at this point is that Martin wanted to quit football but still get paid. Awful reporting on this site- wake up and smell the money!

  10. So….after watching the interview with Incognito this morning on Fox, I must say that I jumped to conclusions in judging Incognito based on his words/voicemail. He provided more than 1100 texts between himself and Martin, and although I haven’t seen them myself, I take Glazer’s word for it that the vulgar conduct and language went both ways.

    Now all these football players, past and present, are corroborating that this type of language and treatment between teammates is commonplace in the locker room. So how do we look at one single exchange between teammates and make judgements based on that?

    Not saying anyone is right or wrong, but Incognito looks a whole lot less guilty than he did yesterday, and a lot more like a scapegoat. He’s always been a dirty player and has questionable personal ethics, but i think that just makes it more convenient to pin all this negative attention on him.


  12. Plain and simple Martin wanted Richie to know that he did not blame the teams at all It’s just the culture around the NFL and the locker room got to me a little…

  13. Fans slam Belichick for his approach to the media and his unwillingness to let anyone in his organization talk trash (to the point of sitting guys like Wes Welker on game day). One of the amazing things about the Dolphins situation is that no one (accept the head coach and the owner) knows when to shut up. Alas, neither the head coach or owner can control the minions. As for Incognito, he may not be a pure racist but he’s ignorant, a bully, and a detestable human being. Has Pouncey been seen wearing a “Free Incognito” hat?

  14. I dunno if he was lying or not, but he sounded somewhat sincere. But I don’t really consider Incognito credible because of his past history.

    However, as we learn more and more from different sources, Martin’s credibility has to be questioned too. If he did text Incognito AFTER all of this he needs to own up to it. There are 3 sides (Cogs, Martins and the truth) and right now it’s leaning toward Incognito.

  15. Everyone is quick to jump to judgement, led furiously by today’s media and the 24 hour news cycle. The media is quick to report any morsel of “news”, without bothering to look for context, and that has led to society as a whole jumping to conclusions before hearing the entire story. It’s sad that society has become a beast hungry for sensational news, which the media seems compelled to constantly feed. Imagine being judged by the entire country based on your worst acts. At the risk of sounding like i’m excusing Incognito, it is impossible to judge this situation without understanding the dynamics of an NFL locker room in 2013. Much more so when we have yet to hear the entire story.

  16. The bottom line is that the media absolutely loves this story because they can make it about race ; this is why it’s so much more important than the Hernandez story.

  17. I’d be more impressed if the interviewer hadn’t been one of Incognito’s personal friends.

    Glazer should have mentioned this personal connection between the two back when the incident first came up, and Glazer started making accusations about Martin.

  18. I do judge you as racist for using that word. People who aren’t racist don’t even consider using that word because it simply is not in their vocabulary.

  19. Let’s be perfectly honest, Richie calling Martin the N-word is like two girlfriends calling each other the B-word. YOU may be offended, because it was shared with you, but it was never meant to be shared. The long history of text messages between the two proved, indisputably, that there was a strong framework of a friendship there. Kudos to Incognito on the interview. It was nice to see him get his opportunity to speak. I look forward to Martin getting his.

  20. Unless I missed it, Glazer never even bothered to ask Incog about the $15,000 extortion case or the incident with the black chick at the golf thing. I knew Glazer wouldnt ask the tough questions. Typical.

  21. Niners816: Are you on The Jefferson’s, who around you says “honky?”

    I kid, but I get your point–however, honky was never a word that reached the level of vitriol of the n-word.

  22. this interview is a load of bs…. Incognito is a racist by definition… he’s also a bully…. and he also wrecked the team with his BS

    at the end of the day, in spite of their ages, those guys need to be professionals… this isn’t high school ball… and Incognito seriously damaged the worst unit on the entire team… at the very moment when he was supposed to be binding them together, he was blowing the place up

    anybody who acts like Incognito is useless on a team as they do more damage than good.

  23. Tony Dungee had it right. This Incognito is a loose cannon, probably using steroids as his behavior is erratic and points in that direction or other substances. This type of bad for the team, bad for the NFL and bad for professional sports in general.

  24. Riley Cooper is more of a racist than Incognito.

    Incognito used a word that doesn’t come off as offensive within his locker room or amongst his teammates.

    When you ingratiate yourself within any friendship circle you come mimic your friends actions and all of you in someway will act like minded.

    Why can’t people accept the fact that all friendship circles are different from one another?

    I know why because they’re stupid.

  25. I truly hope Martin never plays another down in the NFL.

    He is RUINING everything the Dolphins have built. They’re probably going to lose their head coach and GM because of someone’s hurt feelings. It’s garbage. I’m not a huge Incognito fan, but that doesn’t change the fact that Jonathan Martin has likely ended Richie’s career. For the rest of the season there will be a private investigator around the Dolphins locker room because that’s what every team wants.

    Terrible. Everyone jumped the gun on this one and it’s about to backfire for Martin. And he deserves to lose every perk that came with being an NFL player.

  26. Martin is probably too “sensitive” for the NFL, but don’t cry for him, he can always falls back to Harvard. NFL however, like it or not, is going to look behind shoulders and wonder if there is too much machism in the locker room.

  27. Maybe they’re gay and Richie was caught going out with another guy, so Martin’s feelings are hurt and he walked out in a huff.

  28. I just have to say it…BOTH Martin and Incognito are stupid, stupid men! Whether or not Martin is “soft” and Incognito is a “racist pig” is up for grabs and in the eye of the beholder. But, they should have KNOWN better than to EVER write or record anything that might come back and bite them. Technology bit them both – it’s the reason we are talking about this right now.

  29. I read an article from the Miami Herald today that made me think about this in a different way. It talked about Incognito’s admitted past issues with alcohol and drugs saying he especially can’t control himself when he is drinking. That could explain why he sometimes sends nasty texts and voicemails when other times he is friendly with Martin. I think he has a hard time controlling himself normally, but add alcohol and it could get much worse. I also think Martin is a sensitive person who was happy to be done with his rookie season and expected to be treated with more respect in his second season since you supposedly ‘earn’ more respect once you aren’t a rookie anymore. When he was still treated like a rookie, probably because of his sensitive personality and background, he couldn’t take it anymore. In any case, these adult men should all be treating each other better and with more respect and understanding. Just because you are a professional athlete doesn’t mean you should have a pass on human decency.

  30. And RI is now saying he didn’t send the nasty texts, Jon did. Sounds like the classic blame the victim. The “fact” that the teammates all back up RI doesn’t say much for their character, either.

  31. To those who want to define racism by the use of the N word….get real. That is incredibly ignorant to attempt to define racism by the use of a single word. It ain’t really that simple.

    And to @niners816…I’ve been Black my whole life and the next time I hear someone use the term “honky” in normal conversation will be the first time since an episode of Sanford and Son. You’re invited to join the rest of us in this millennium.

  32. I’m sorry but if the week before it “gets to be too much” you send a text to your linemate who you’re saying was bullying you that “you wanted to kill his whole family” and you saw each other friendly after such text then you lose all credibility to claim that you were overwhelmed by this person. Incognito is coming off looking like a dick but someone who didn’t do anything out of the ordinary for their relationship.

  33. My Pops taught me many years ago…”say what you mean, and mean what you say.”

    I’ve taught that to many a young Soldier under me for 34 years in the Army Infantry!

    Every REAL man should live by that!!!!

  34. Racism isn’t picky or choosy. It doesn’t choose you, you choose it.

    That said, my very best friend is a proud Georgia southerner and I am a proud Wisconsin Yankee. We have very different views on the use of the “N” word.

    In her southern world, black people call other black people the “N” word all the time, and yet that’s not considered racist. So then, why is it racism when a white person calls a black person the “N” word? I can’t answer that question, but maybe someone reading this can.

    In my Yankee world, we don’t use the “N” word – period. I know that it’s used commonly between blacks, and yes, whites use it to, but I was taught that there are certain words in the English language that you just don’t repeat, and we’ve raised our son the same way we were raised.

    What bothers me the most is the perception that many people have that “if you’re white, then you’re racist.” The “N” word is as disgusting as the “R” word because these words are not used to compliment someone – they’re used to criticize and break someone down.

    I still don’t have a defiitive answer to my best friend’s comment: “If black people can say that word to other people and it’s ok, then why is it racist if a white person uses it?”

    My response is that it that I’ve never seen a white person use the “N” word as if it’s a compliment. It’s always used in a derogatory way. Then again, it’s derogatory no matter who uses it and who it’s being directed towards.

    There is probably only one way that this problem is going to be solved, and that’s if EVERYONE eliminates it from their speech – it’s not ok for anyone to use – PERIOD!

  35. Let’s see,

    One manifestation of racism is saying racially derogatory or insensitive remarks, especially when addressed to someone who is part of a group that has been victimized by racism. Calling a black man a “*N” is a racially derogatory or insensitive remark. Ergo, Incognito is a moron with anger problems, nothing but a brutish bully, and the days of bullies are over. The days of hazing are gone. They have no place in any workplace, including the NFL.

    And, the neanderthals who still think that manhood is defined by whether one can win a physical fight are on their way out too. . Resolution of disputes by the use of force and violence is nothing but glorified savagery. Violence begets violence and is not the measure of manhood except for people with IQ’s under 90.

  36. Racism expresses itself in a variety of ways.

    Some knuckle-walkers are blatant and unabashed racists, as has been observed on numerous occasions throughout American history.

    Other folks indignantly proclaim that “some of my best friends are (fill in the blank).” One may behave in an extremely civil manner — or even be friendly — toward someone of a different ethnicity … so long as that person does not offend one’s sensibilities or disagree with one’s political ideology.

    It is often when confronting someone with whom one has a conflict that race suddenly becomes an issue and ethnic bigotry rises to the surface, such as when a person of color is the butt of a racially-insensitive joke delivered via email, tweet, or at a political event …. or even when someone fantasizes about blacks role-playing as slaves of the old South while waiting upon white folks at a plantation-themed wedding.

    And for others, their racism is expressed by their tendency to apply stereotypical character traits to an entire ethnic demographic group of people, followed by a haughty disdain for these character traits and by their arrogant suggestion that they — as an outsider to the culture — understand the challenges facing people of said demographic group better than members of the group themselves.

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