Ross’s comments sound like bad news for Incognito, Ireland


Two people should not feel safe in their positions with the Miami Dolphins after hearing what owner Stephen Ross said today: Richie Incognito and the man who signed him, Dolphins General Manager Jeff Ireland.

When Ross spoke to reporters today, he made very clear that he was deeply disturbed by the fact that Incognito used the N-word in a voicemail to teammate Jonathan Martin, who has left the team. In fact, Ross said that his initial reaction to Incognito using a racial slur was that it’s “so appalling to me” that “I know I am capable of overreacting,” suggesting that he thought of cutting Incognito right then and there.

In his interview with Mike Tirico on ESPN, Ross made similar comments, saying there’s no excuse for the way Incognito addressed Martin.

“I want to make sure the type of racial slurs, harassment, bullying doesn’t occur on our team, in our locker room,” Ross said. “There’s no room for that in our workplace.”

Ross also said he is forming an advisory group to help him deal with the situation, and that two of the people on that group will be Tony Dungy and Don Shula. Dungy has said that when he coached the Colts he didn’t want to draft Incognito because of character concerns, and Shula has said that when the Dolphins signed Incognito they took a chance on a guy with a bad reputation and it backfired.

As for Ireland, Ross spoke volumes with his silence. In both the statement Ross released and his press conference, Ross said absolutely nothing supportive about Ireland. On the other hand, Ross was effusive in his praise of head coach Joe Philbin.

“I don’t think there is a better person, a more respected person, a more caring person in the National Football League than Joe Philbin,” Ross said. “I have the utmost confidence in Joe Philbin as our coach.”

But Ross didn’t say he has any confidence in Ireland. Perhaps because he has no confidence in Ireland.

62 responses to “Ross’s comments sound like bad news for Incognito, Ireland

  1. Kind of weird to think that this episode, now Ireland’s questionable track record as GM, is what will do him in. Regardless of the reason tho, good riddance, and I’m sure all Dolphins fans will agree with me.

  2. Where the Great and Powerful Goodell in al if this? Where’s the iron fist of discipline from the Commish? HELLO ROGER, ANYBODY HOME!

  3. 2010, the Jets’ coaches encouraged fighting to toughen up players. It was celebrated on Hard Knocks.

    2013, this is the biggest debacle in team history for the Dolphins and heads should roll.


  4. Philbin has handled this well. Best coach Miami has had since Shula. Seems genuine. He has the team in the right direction, remember what he inherited.

  5. every GM in the league would be “on the hot seat” if everything that went on “in the locker room” and between players was transparent.

    Martin and Incognito will play in the NFL if they are good enough. i wouldn’t be surprised if Denver signed them both… haha

  6. Ireland has confirmed Incognito will not suit up tonight but will be available for team moral support.

  7. An “advisory committee”? Does anyone have the capability of making a decision for themselves anymore? Perhaps Ross should build a website.

  8. Timeline:
    -Martin leaves team claims bad environment.
    -media reports of bullying by teammates.
    -team suspends Incognito.
    -locker room backs incognito.
    -entire insignificant media jumps all over Incognito. (and piles on, and on…)
    -Incognito does fox interview claims didn’t know nuttin. produces txt from martin not blaming him.
    -owner forms committee and is furious.

    No question Incognito is wrong… but when does the NFL step in and mandate the Dolphins to get control of their team? my money says Martin never plays again in the NFL.

  9. Word is the Stephen Ross is hardly ever in Miami and that he is always in New York running his billion dollar empire.

    They say that he is an absentee owner and he hardly oversees things and leaving things up to Ireland to run.

    So you know that Ross, feels lots of guilt and that he is gonna can Ireland.

  10. If Ross cuts incognito, he better really hope Incognito cannot produce texts from Martin using the same language. Or Ross is going to be paying Incognito a pretty penny for racial discrimination.

  11. If Ross was smart, he would immediately cut ties with Ireland and Incognito to salvage a victory in the court of public opinion. Those guys are garbage.

    Take the garbage out and get some morally sound guys in there. Philbin should go too. This stuff can’t happen under the head coach’s watch. No excuse.

  12. “Ross also said he is forming an advisory group to help him deal with the situation, and that two of the people on that group will be Tony Dungy and Don Shula. Dungy has said that when he coached the Colts he didn’t want to draft Incognito because of character concerns, and Shula has said that when the Dolphins signed Incognito they took a chance on a guy with a bad reputation and it backfired.”

    WTF kind of Kangaroo Court is this? So Ross is forming an ‘Advisory Group’ of two guys already on the record as thinking Incognito’s a bum. I wonder what the recommendation will be? Someone tell old man Ross to make the call already and grow a set. An ‘advisory group’…wtf? lol.

  13. But I thought Ireland was the toast of South Beach with all his phenomenal free agent signings this past offseason? All those Fin fans were crowning them the new kings of the AFCE. My how fast things can spiral.

  14. I cant even believe as a man, we are all talking about a professional football player, and a big man, being bullied. This is about the dumbest “scandal” I have seen to date. If youre a man and another man is giving you a problem, then you solve it. Am I clear?

  15. I’m so glad my conversations with my friends aren’t recorded. Ridiculous guys that literally bleed and sweat together for 9 months a year are expected to use pacifiers when they aren’t playing the game they get paid millions to play. It’s like we expect them to act like 14 year old Boy Scouts. Mans game, get over it!

  16. Who cares about Incognito? Ireland should be fired for giving Mike Wallace a $60 million dollar contract.

    That’s roughly $1 million for each dropped ball he has this year.

  17. Welcome to New England Incognito where your play will be welcome and attitude kept in check by the Bigs who patrol the locker room.

  18. If you cut all who used the “n” word, you wont have a team left. Note: most of the team is black!!

  19. “In fact, Ross said that his initial reaction to Incognito using a racial slur was that it’s “so appalling to me” that “I know I am capable of overreacting,” suggesting that he thought of cutting Incognito right then and there.”

    Then, like the rest of us, he heard it in context and learned Martin was laughing about it.

  20. we don’t need any due process…. just hang him already…. we don’t need for the investigate to start… we have found him guilty already!!! I mean no one absolutely no one is entitled to use the n word unless of course your black or a mullatto… then it is ok… because you know blacks were slave a 200 years ago… HANG ‘EM… WE DON’T NEED FACTS TO CONFUSE THE NARRATIVE… PC ROCKS!!! FAIRNESS IS OVER RATED!!! FREEDOM AND RIGHTS SUCK!!!

  21. dolphins1121 says: Nov 11, 2013 8:18 PM

    2010, the Jets’ coaches encouraged fighting to toughen up players. It was celebrated on Hard Knocks.

    2013, this is the biggest debacle in team history for the Dolphins and heads should roll.


    There’s a big difference between having guy in there to stir things up during training camp between offense and defense and what went on between members of the same offensive line in that circus of a locker room down in Miami during the regular season. Of all the parts of a team that you want to be unified, it’s the O-Line.

  22. Of course he laughed it off. All the internet tough guys and high school glory athletes keep reminding us that Martin is a softie for not playing along with their bullying.

    What was he supposed to do? Kick Richie’s ass? Then he gets busted as a malcontent, fined, suspended and maybe kicked out of the league.

    If a biker gang walks into my drinking establishment and starts calling me a queer, I laugh the jokes off and then GTFO as quickly as possible.

  23. I think that Martin is the problem, here. Incognito isn’t a saint but, this is the NFL. To think that these guys don’t use the “n” work or the “f” word is ridiculous. There were plenty of hockey players who couldn’t play in the NHL, due to the tough culture of the game. To play in the NFL, you have to be strong, mind & body, or you don’t stand a chance. There are plenty of 6’5″ 300+ lb athletes out there. A handful can play left tackle in the NFL. Martin couldn’t handle the job and reacted poorly. PS – I love this, as I am a huge Jets fan. Squish the fish.

  24. So Goodell and Costas have no problem commenting about the “offensive” Redskins name, but say nothing about the n-word bombs?!

  25. Anyone acting offended at Incognito’s comments are either ignorant of football players and how they interact, or are totally faking outrage.

    For most in the media, it is completely fake.

    Using derogatory words and saying crude things to your teammates is all in fun, and it happens in every locker room in the country from high school to the pros, from the urban ghetto schools to the rural Christian schools. Knowing that to be true, what disturbs me about this situation is Martin willfully throwing his teammates (all of them, not just Incognito) under the bus, and the fact that the media is pretending to be outraged and acting like what Incognito said/did was somehow out of the norm.

    It wasn’t. And frankly, I think the scrutiny is going the wrong way. Martin sent Incognito a text message saying he would kill his family, but no, no… we are being led to believe that Incognito is the one who should be vilified for using a single crude word in a joking manner.

  26. Some people say if Incognito produces text from Martin using the N word, then Ross is liable for racial discrimination against Incognito. Before we get there we need to answer the 64 thousand dollar question.

    In what context is that word used by either blacks and non-blacks amongst themselves and against blacks that constitutes racism and discrimination?

    This is a huge societal issue and it’s not fair the Dolphins get saddled with resolving a concern that impacts society on a larger scale. For example hazing and bullying. But here they are. Add to that workplace harassment, race relations, and sportsmanship. Doesn’t seem fair.

    Contract wise and for Incognito, it’s the use of the N word. As long as blacks get a pass, the question will never be properly addressed therefore, Incognito is unfairly punished. This means that if Martin used it, he will get a pass. JZ your newest agent gets a pass, black players get a pass. Riley didnt’ and Incognito will not get a pass even if given tacit approval by Martin.

    And that is the disgusting part. I hope they settle it, but I am also grossed out by it all. I hope a smart group of lawyer challenges this thing once and for all to the supreme court.

    First amendments regarding free speech, we all use it or we all don’t. At least the Dolphins, Incognito, and Martin theater can be credited for being the lighting rod to open an honest national discussion.

  27. If Ross cut everyone on his payroll, who’s ever used the ‘N’ word, he’d have cut 75% of his roster and 100% of the FO. How clueless can one old white man be? Sell now old fool… before the NFL absorbs the mess and auctions it off to the highest bidders…

  28. What bothers me most, aside from all the disingenuous faux-outrage from the disconnected-billionaire owner Ross, is the fact that the universal agreement that the “N”-word is wholly unacceptable and shocking only if certain guys use it.

    Apparently it doesn’t matter about context if one type of guy says it yet other types of players use the word freely and constantly with zero repercussions.

    Incognito used a darned poor choice of words and it is becoming apparent that not only are thought-crimes now illegal in America poor choice of grammar can also be considered de facto outlawed.

    So Incognito is now The Devil while the same word that sunk him continues to be used freely in that same locker-room.

    So we now, in fact, have two separate sets of standards for two different types of guys.

    Isn’t this the first step down the road to a kind of segregation of phraseology in our country?

    Am I the only one disturbed by this?

  29. Oh great, Saint Tony is going to tell us how he would only allow men of the most upstanding moral character in his locker room, and would get rid of Incognito. But it was ok when Warren Sapp was the biggest d-bag in the league for Dungy’s entire time in Tampa. The double standard is already making me nauseous.

  30. I agree, footballfanatic666, this story is so overblown. Holier-than-Thou national media have been swarming all over this story spewing their PC opinions (“But it was a WHITE PERSON” that used the N-word!”). What hypocritical tools attempting to be on the “right side” of an issue.

    On this topic, here’s the Straight Dope:
    1) No legislative body, media outlet, private organization will EVER root out fraternal dynamics. It’s ingrained in our society at every level. Call it bullying, hazing, dominating, whatever, the instinct to overtake another is as normal in the real world as it is in nature. Look at a list of Fortune 500 CEO’s: chances are they are male (probably Caucasian although a stat better discussed in another forum), tall, large-frame, dominant type-A personality with a history of vanquishing his opponent throughout his career hence his rise through the corporate ranks. Organizations themselves promote this behavior to appear “strong, impenetrable, number one,” Same goes for sports teams throughout all levels of competition, as early as pee-wee football. It’s just the way we as males are wired and there’s nothing anyone can do about it as long as individual merit and abilities are emphasized and it’s been this way since the beginning of time. Heck, you even find this kind of “bonding” occurring in women’s sports! It’s just the way things are with groups with a common agenda/goal.
    So without your ego getting in a tuss, bring your counter argument why Incognito has crossed the line (other than maybe the “threats” against Martin’s family-a statement that sounds hollow and for effect only). And don’t bring the silly “N-word” argument. What a croc! It’s a word, people; it has no value other than what we give to it. Blacks (“African-Americans”, please! How come no one calls me a Russian American?) spew the word at each other derisively as well as endearingly. Obviously, I’m not going to call a black person n***er to their face, but using the word itself doesn’t make someone “racist.” It’s as though being called a “racist” is the WORST THING a person could EVER be labelled. Especially when the same media people who spout off their PC opinions on mike then go home to their real life and personal biases which include very un-PC opinions about other people.

    Everyone needs to take a step back from their “Pontification Podium”, look in the mirror and realize they’re living in glass houses. If you are so intent on changing behavior of others, start by changing your own.

  31. And no one is mentioning the fact that Martin is looking more and more like he will be in a position to still get paid millions and yet never have to play again.

    It has occurred to me more than once that either Martin wants his pay without having to earn it OR that he has a very real issue in dealing with the general NFL lockerroom in any way.

    Is it possible that Martin is gay and genuinely feels alienated and afraid of what that might do to effect his comfort in the lockerroom?

    If that was the case it would totally clear all this up IMHO.

    Certainly no one should feel any fear of retribution, hazing or alienation b/c of their personal life. Maybe Martin can’t face it himself; if so I feel for him. He is in the possibly most difficult situation left in America today in which to openly declare that kind of highly personal info.

    As I think about it I’m starting to hope both these players get through all this better, smarter, stronger men.

  32. As a Patriot fan since day 1 (1960) in case you didn’t know…

    All I can say to the Dolphins is: NO LEADERSHIP…NO DIRECTION.

    Thank you before hand to the Patriot Haters…Organization is EVERYTHING.

  33. A white man and a black both work in an office together. The white man say’s the N word and a black man says the N word…both either get fired, or both get sent by HR to sensitivity classes to keep their jobs. There is no interpretation of context. The word is the word no matter who says it.

    A white man and a black man both play on an NFL team. A white man says the N word and a black man says the N word. Context is completely valid in it’s interpretation. A black man using the N word as a verbal insult against another black holds just as much weight if not more as a white man saying it to a black man as a verbal insult. But it’s a locker room…there have been fights in locker rooms where two black guys fought and surely the N word was said in malice to the other guy. No white guys or black guys went and cried to a lawyer. Same thing, a white guy and a black guy surely fought in the locker room and the white guy called the black guy in the locker room the N word, but no black or white guys when and cried to their lawyer.

    That is why all the black dolphin players are like WTF. I actually think alot of them probably said, he Icognito, call him the N word. If he don’t get in your face after that man, we don’t need him. And guess what not only did he not get in his face, he cried to a lawyer…

  34. I TOLD YA.

    Stephen Ross is worth $4,000,000,000.

    The vast majority of that money was made thru his real estate company (The Related Company).

    The Related Company depends/employs or depends/employs thru real estate projects thousands of minorities.

    These minorities working in non-NFL Stephen Ross jobs need to know they are working in a fair and healthy workplace… AND… Stephen Ross needed to go on record and make changes to prove that he DOES NOT manage companies that allow racist behavior and offensive behavior.

  35. Damage control? Using the “N” word seems to be a frequent occurrence with Incognito. I listened to an interview on the Dan Patrick show with Warren Sapp and Sapp stated “Incognito used to call Sapp the “N” word when they played against each other.”

    I wonder how Incognito got away without Sapp beating the hell out of him.

  36. It’s amazed me a great deal that Jeff Ireland has lasted as long as he has. He kind of reminds me of the days when the Saints had Bill Kuharich as GM. It seemed like it took forever for Benson to fire him. Ross needs to do the same thing here. He hasn’t transformed Miami into anything great and he’s had plenty of time to start a winning trend. And to lose to Tampa is almost as bad as a team losing to Jacksonville.

    I think if people really want to see this culture change where the N
    word doesn’t exist then follow the advice of Bill Cosby himself when be said stop using it and stop talking about it. Get rid of it completely. You can’t say it’s ok for blacks and not ok for whites to use the N word. Igcognito is a meathead but he was right in his interview with Jay Glazer. You want the N word gone, get rid of its use by everyone. And all these people acting all holy when it comes to the N word, please get real. Half the people who sit there and condemn using it have used it plenty and can’t claim to be offended when they themselves are a previous N word user such as Warren Sapp, Michael Irvin, Terelle Owens just to name a few.

    Follow Bill Cosby. Stop justifying the use and just get rid of it.

  37. tvjules says:
    Nov 11, 2013 9:38 PM
    So Goodell and Costas have no problem commenting about the “offensive” Redskins name, but say nothing about the n-word bombs?!
    Costas and Hines Ward briefly talked about this on FNIA on Sunday. Ward said as a bi-racial person, he had heard racial slurs from both sides. Costas asked if we are ever going to get to the point where the N-word is never used by anyone. Ward said he hoped so.

    And that is the ultimate solution. As long as you have a certain segment of the population freely using a racial slur, you’re going to have other segments of the population trying to use it. This word needs to be eliminated by EVERYONE.

  38. Both Dungy and Shula ar on record with their statements about Incognito and this is the advisory board Ross came up with? Why does he need a advisory board just to tell him what he already knows. Just take the matter into your own hands and do the right thing and get rid of both Ireland included

  39. Is it only me that thinks this whole thing sounds like we’re talking about a bunch of spoiled rich High School kids? That’s what professional sports has become. There are no sports heroes left. It’s just better scores through chemistry. Since it seems there’s at least one game on at virtually any hour of the day and night I sometimes watch a few minutes here and there, but actually couldn’t care less about this or anything else about pro sports. From the owners to the coaches and players, it’s just a bunch of rich, spoiled kids that never grew up and feel that the rules the rest of civilization lives by don’t apply to them. I’d rather watch replays of replays of 2nd rate shows than to ever spend one dime on any pro team or sport.

  40. Let me explain all this – So far Martin hasn’t said a word and no one seems to even know where he is – What happened was this – Mommy and Daddy got hold of his cell phone.

  41. Personally, I think Ross’s decision to form his own advisory group before the investigation is completed is nothing more than a c.y.a manuever he hopes will somehow cut his losses before everything becomes public knowledge. Obviously, from what he’s said Ireland and Incognito are toast, but to praise Philbin the way he did shows he still doesn’t get it. How could Philbin not know how toxic the locker room culture was? And can Ross be silent about the way Dolphin players have heaped praise on Incognito and criticized Martin for their roles in Martingate? How can Ross/Philbin not tell those players who knighted Incognito as an honorary black to put a zipper on their mouths? Likewise, why are they letting Tannehill hang himself with his own words when all he has to do is tone it down and stop viewing one as a hero and the other as a villian. Once the investigation is complete, his words will haunt him for the rest of his career and could even adversely impact it.

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