Miami Dolphins guard Richie Incognito lashed out at ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Twitter on Sunday over reporting connecting him to the alleged bullying of teammate Jonathan Martin. A second-year offensive lineman out of Stanford, Martin abruptly left the team earlier this week, reportedly to deal with emotional issues. Incognito, a nine-year NFL veteran in his fourth season with the Dolphins, has been linked to alleged harassment that led Martin to leave the team by multiple unnamed sources who have spoken to Schefter and Chris Mortenson of ESPN.
Incognito is not happy about it.
Amid reports that bullying and hazing played a role in Martin leaving the team, the Dolphins issued a statement on Sunday indicating that “the notion of bullying is based on speculation and has not been presented to us as a concern from Jonathan or anyone else internally.” Similarly, the NFL Players Association released a statement on Saturday indicating that no investigation has been launched into Incognito or other Dolphins players related to Martin’s departure from the team.
Citing unnamed sources, Schefter reported on Sunday that the only reason no formal inquiry into Incognito’s behavior had been launched was that Martin had not formally complained of bullying. According to Schefter’s sources, Martin had not explicitly complained of bullying or hazing because he feared retribution from Incognito.
With his future with the team unclear, Martin will be placed on the reserve/non-football injury list by the Dolphins this week, reported Ian Rapoport of NFL.com on Sunday. Citing information from unnamed sources described as being in “regular contact with Martin,” Rapoport indicated the second-year player won’t be returning to the Dolphins without the “situation changing drastically in South Beach.”
Among the accusations made against Incognito and his teammates, is that young players on the team were forced to pick up expensive restaurant tabs for veteran players. An unnamed young defensive player told Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald that he was going broke due to his inability to deny requests to cover expenses of older, more affluent teammates. Similarly, sources told Schefter and Mortenson of ESPN that Incognito may have induced Martin “to contribute $15,000 to help finance a trip to Las Vegas by a group of Dolphins last summer, even though Martin preferred not to travel with the group.”
Incognito has not hid his displeasure with Schefter, ESPN and several of the media outlets covering the developing story.