NFL releases shocking report detailing Richie Incognito’s racist and homophobic abuse

The official investigation concluded Incognito was responsible for a "pattern" of racist and homophobic harassment

Topics: Richie Incognito, NFL, nfl culture, pro sports culture, Homophobia, Racism, , ,

NFL releases shocking report detailing Richie Incognito's racist and homophobic abuse Richie Incognito (Credit: AP/Wilfredo Lee)

Deadspin writer Barry Petchesky pulled together some of the most damning excerpts from the NFL investigation into Miami Dolphins guard Richie Incognito, and the abuse documented in the report is absolutely appalling. According to the investigation, Incognito — aided and enabled by other players and coaches — was behind a “pattern” of racist and homophobic harassment of Jonathan Martin and others on the team.

In addition to exposing Incognito’s bigotry, the report reveals in greater detail the extent to which Martin was affected by the harassment. In a particularly devastating passage, the report transcribes text messages Martin sent to his mother asking her for advice. “I care about my legacy as a professional athlete,” he wrote. “But I’m miserable currently. A therapist & medication won’t help me gain the respect of my teammates. I really don’t know what to do Mom.”

More from the report:

Incognito harassed teammates using homophobic slurs, Offensive Line Coach Jim Turner took part  in the harassment 

Martin and other witnesses informed us that Player A was repeatedly called a “faggot” and subjected to other homophobic invective. Incognito stated that Player A, although not actually believed to be gay, was subject to these taunts repeatedly and persistently—he got it “every day from everybody, high frequency.” According to Incognito, Player A was a “good kid” and he “took it well,” never asking his teammates to stop.

Incognito and others acknowledged that Player A was routinely touched by Incognito, Jerry and Pouncey in a mockingly suggestive manner, including on his rear end, while being taunted about his supposed homosexuality. Incognito specifically admitted that he would grab Player A and ask for a hug as part of this “joke.”

Martin said that on one occasion, Pouncey physically restrained Player A and, in full view of other players, jokingly told Jerry to “come get some pussy,” and that Jerry responded by touching Player A’s buttocks in a way that simulated anal penetration. Pouncey and Jerry both denied this allegation. Given the seriousness of this allegation and the conflicting recollections, we decline to make any findings about this particular alleged incident.

The evidence shows that [Offensive Line Coach Jim Turner] overheard and participated in this behavior toward Player A. During the 2012 Christmas season, Coach Turner gave all of the offensive linemen gift bags that included a variety of stocking stuffers. In each gift bag except for Player A’s, Turner included a female “blow-up” doll; Player A’s bag included a male doll.



Incognito joked about “shooting black people” 

Incognito and a former Dolphins offensive lineman, who is white, communicated about purchasing guns, apparently for recreational purposes. (We identify this former Dolphin as Player B.) The discussion veered into jokes about shooting black people:

Player B: Especially if u plan living in Arizona in the future, that’s exactly what you want

Incognito: Yea. For picking off zombies

Player B: Lol isn’t that why we own any weapons!?

Incognito: That and black people

Player B: Mmm def all black ppl

Four days later, Incognito and Player B discussed rifle scopes in text messages.

Player B: Yes. That’s a solid optic made specifically for a .308 battle rifle

Incognito: Perfect for shooting black people

Player B: Lol exactly

Player B: Or Jeff Ireland

Incognito asked his teammates to destroy evidence of his abuse 

Incognito recorded a $200 fine against himself [in a journal where he recorded incidents of harassment against Martin] for “breaking Jmart,” awarded another lineman who had been verbally taunted a $250 bonus for “not cracking first,” and wrote down a number of penalties against Martin for acting like a “pussy.” The evidence shows, and Incognito did not dispute, that “breaking Jmart” meant causing Martin to have an emotional reaction in response to taunting.

Approximately one week after Martin left the team, on November 3, 2013, Incognito wrote nearly identical text messages to Pouncey and another lineman: “They’re going to suspend me Please destroy the fine book first thing in the morning.”

Turner pressured Martin to clear Incognito’s name, and framed Incognito as the one being victimized 

Turner: Richie incognito is getting hammered on national TV. This is not right. You could put an end to all the rumors with a simple statement. DO THE RIGHT THING. NOW.

Martin: Coach. I want to put out a statement. Believe me I do. This thing has become such a huge story somehow. But I’ve been advised not to… And I’m not supposed to text anyone either cuz last time I responded to a teammate (Richie) I was intentionally manipulated and the conversation was immediately forwarded to a reporter.

Turner: He is protecting himself. He has been beat up for 4 days. Put an end to this. You are a grown man. Do the right thing

Turner: John I want the best for you and your health but make a statement and take the heat off Richie and the lockerroom. This isn’t right.

Turner [The next day]: I know you are a man of character. Where is it?

Read the rest at Deadspin.

Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at kmcdonough@salon.com.

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