Miami Dolphins guard Richie Incognito
was told by coaches before the seasonto “toughen up” teammate Jonathan Martin, according to Omar Kelly of the Sun Sentinel.
Incognito was suspended indefinitely amid widespread accusations that he bullied Martin into leaving the team.
Much of the criticism has been directed at Incognito, but according to Kelly’s report the team deserves a share of the blame as well.
From the Sun Sentinel:
“Sources say that communication took place when Martin skipped two days of the team’s OTA [offseason team activity] program, and Incognito was encouraged by his coaches to make a call that would ‘get him into the fold,’ one source said.
“Even though OTA workouts are voluntary, the NFL culture forces coaches to strong arm the team’s leaders to make sure everyone attends. Sources say Incognito was doing his job, but they admit he crossed the line.”
Incognito has been accused of being the “ring leader” of a bullying campaign against Martin and other rookies. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Martin was coerced into giving Incognito $US15,000 for a trip to Las Vegas.
Earlier this week, alleged voicemails where Incognito called Martin a “half-n*****” and threatened him surfaced.
It’s unclear what the team knew, and when. But the alleged orders to “toughen up” Martin certainly won’t help the perception that the Dolphins are culpable in all of this.
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