On Monday morning the story involving Miami Dolphins guard Richie Incognito and offensive tackle Jonathan Martin became much more severe. Whereas in our first piece we had no idea what was said, we now know that both the NFL and the Miami Dolphins have listened to an audio recording of Incognito where he uttered the following:
“Hey, wassup, you half n—er piece of shit. I saw you on Twitter, you been training 10 weeks. [I want to] shit in your fucking mouth. [I’m going to] slap your fucking mouth. [I’m going to] slap your real mother across the face [laughter]. Fuck you, you’re still a rookie. I’ll kill you.”
For the record, this is only one of the messages that was released. Apparently there are many more, as well as a series of texts which refer to him being called a certain part of the female anatomy. He also apparently called him some kind of homophobic slur, and I’m sure we can all picture in our minds which one it was.
So let’s break it down as to why this is going to piss people off so much – line by line, and reading in between the lines as well.
1. “Hey, wassup, you half n—er piece of shit”
Okay, so it’s not hard to see what is the tipping point here. Anytime you use the N-Word in modern society, you’re going to have a problem.
Also, there are probably some racist undertones in the whole “Wassup” term as well. I’m not sure if it’s even possible to misspell slang, but if it is a fat kid that graduated from the University of Nebraska is likely at the front of that line.
And calling someone a “piece of shit” is just uncreative and boring. If you’re going to go after somebody, at least get all Jim Norton with and come up with something interesting. There’s nothing creative about any part of this voicemail.
1b. The use of the word “half” in a sentence like this one
To me this is the most insulting thing in the voicemail. This world is very much a melting pot to say the least. I’ve got plenty of friends who are of mixed race, and I’m sure if you were to survey the country you’d find that most of America is the same way. Saying someone is “half” of anything just comes across as incredibly insulting.
2. “I saw you on Twitter, you been training 10 weeks.”
I’m guessing that the three toughest years of Richie Incognito’s life was fourth grade, because I’ve seen actual dolphins have a better concept of sentence structure than this. And I love how he announces to Martin that he’s figured out how to use the most idiot proof social networking site in the history of the world that isn’t named Vine.
And this is also where the whole hazing thing gets me – Getting in a guy’s craw for fucking training when he’s a professional athlete? What a moron. Although, this is coming from a guy who looks like he eats seven or eight sticks of butter on a daily basis.
3. “[I want to] shit in your fucking mouth. [I’m going to] slap your fucking mouth.”
This one I don’t get at all because if he plans to do these things in this order, wouldn’t he then get his own shit on his hands when he slaps the dude’s mouth that’s full of shit? If I’m going to shit in a guy’s mouth, the last thing that I’m going to do shortly thereafter is touch him so that my own shit would spill on me. I realize it may be just a figure of speech, but it reads like poor planning.
4. “[I’m going to] slap your real mother across the face [laughter].”
As Mr. T so famously reminded up in the 80s, you never bring somebody’s mother into the mix. I’m a pretty calm guy, but rest assured if you start popping off insults about my mom I can pretty much guarantee you that we’re fighting. Maybe Incognito just thought that since he was already going the distance when it comes to the racist stuff, he might as well throw some women-beating shit in there as well.
5. “Fuck you, you’re still a rookie.”
I’m not sure if Richie is familiar with how time works, but wasn’t every NFL player a rookie at some point? Isn’t the whole purpose of working rookies onto the squad is to make sure they understand that the main purpose is winning? And don’t give me this “culture” argument here either – Peyton Manning wouldn’t do shit like this on either of the teams he’s played for, and that’s why he has thrown for 461 touchdowns in his career and the Dolphins didn’t win a game in October until the last two hours of the month. Productivity > Posturing. Always.
6. “I’ll kill you”
Regardless of the seriousness of this statement, you can bet your sweet ass that anytime you threaten a person’s life they’re probably going to mention it to somebody. But it’s not so much that as it is…
7. The combination of using the N-Word as well as “I’ll Kill you” in the same voicemail probably wasn’t the smartest thing to do
Anybody who didn’t get a D or lower in American history should be well aware why this is a poor decision. And thank God his last name isn’t “Lynch”, because if that was the case Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson would be hiding in his shower waiting for him with butcher knives when he comes home from sensitivity training.
In my first piece I also stated that I don’t believe this is an issue of bullying. I still don’t think so, even with all of the voicemails that were sent and the frequency that he was doing it. I understand why some people only viewing this on the surface would see it that way, but I also understand that “bullying” is a hot buzzword right now that the media is truly bullying us with. And Richie Incognito might be a bull, but this isn’t bullying.
Here again, he’s just a prick. He’s just a big, dumb jock asshole motherfucker who was picking on a kid and the kid didn’t stand up for himself correctly. This is not bullying. And it’s not “not bullying” simply because it’s football and nobody should be allowing themselves to be bullied.
While coach Philbin told his players to not make any shithead comments, Cameron Wake went ahead and made one when he compared incidents like this one when he said:
“In this league is a group of elite men. It is a fraternity. It is a brotherhood. It is a lot of things. There is a membership. You have to pay your dues to get certain privileges. Is it carrying football pads? Is it a silly haircut?”
So he makes this great game ending sack against the hottest team in football to win in overtime, and then a week later he goes ahead and says that.
Really, dickhead? Tim Tebow getting his hair cut like Friar Tuck is the same thing as a guy getting voicemails from some muffin murderer threatening his life and calling for his life and calling him a “half-N-word”? I’m waiting for an NFL coach to just come out and have the honesty to say “Look, a lot of these guys are simply too stupid to avoid saying dumb shit. So please…just don’t talk to them this week.” But then that would somehow end up having racial overtones, and then we have another problem on our hands.
Back to Richie – He didn’t really seem like the most likable guy to me after I saw this video pop up on TMZ of him “having fun” at a quaint watering hole:
Remember alcohol being a factor because I’ll bring that up here again in a couple paragraphs…
And it certainly didn’t help Incognito’s case when he tweeted this back on Sunday:
Richie incognito @68INCOGNITO
Now this is where it gets weird: Why would you say something like this when you know there is evidence available that may turn your fucking career into dust? And why would you come off so aggressive on Twitter in response to a scandal where you were accused of pushing somebody around? And while I’m at it…What is the use of a three some hundred pound football player taking to some social networking site to attack a wormy sports reporter like Adam Schefter? That sounds like the real bitch move to me. (And as for Schefter himself, anyone criticizing him for his previous work – I get that. But in this case – he was simply doing his job) By the way “Hashtag Bring It” is about the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.
Long story short: Richie is probably a bit of a bumpkin.
I do think that it is a little weird that Incognito had almost an entire day to beat Toronto mayor Rob Ford to the “I was drunk” defense and he failed. If I was handling damage control for that douchebag, that’s the first thing I would have put out regardless of whether or not it was true. And it would have worked, too…because I think we can all agree that when it comes to tolerating substance abuse, at least America still leads the world in something.
The most damning thing to me about all of this is how many African American players have not only been cool with this whole thing, but that a couple of them have actually defended him and used the excuse that it’s part of the football “culture”. If you know me, you know I think that’s a bullshit excuse for anything so it’s just not going to fly with me. Although I believe that this should have been handled man-to-man as opposed to man-to-HR, the culture thing is a crock of shit. Most of this story is.
And that’s the point I’d like to make before I go: If you’re going to make the whole “culture” argument when it comes to NFL locker rooms and say that because they grew up listening to hip hop everything is different now – I can do you one better. All of these analogies seem very prison-like to me, so what’s wrong with me making a prison analogy myself? You know the oldest way to get respect in prison – You walk up to the biggest guy in the yard that day and you punch him as hard as you possibly can. It exerts your dominance and although it’s probably going to get you shanked the following week, it’s better for you in the long run because the prisoners are going to have a certain amount of respect for you – they speak the language of violence. Plus, getting stabbed is better than getting raped because therapy is extremely expensive nowadays.
Martin could have prevented this hazing right away as soon as he was asked to pay that $15,000. The second that Ritchie demanded the money for the trip Martin should have walked right up to Incognito in their crowded locker room, thrown a crumpled up five dollar bill at him and said “You want my money? Pick it up bitch, cuz’ that’s all you’re gettin’…You wanna threaten me and tell the rest of these people of the same ethnic background that I am what you called me in your little voicemail message? Go ahead…tell ’em! I’m here to win football games, so if you ain’t on board with me and the rest of these guys stay your fat fucking hillbilly ass on the other side of center OR I’LL KILL YOU.”
And I guarantee you the rest of the locker room would have collectively got up and said “Holy shit, this kid’s for real”. (Or at least they would if they realized that winning football games is the most important thing here) That hypothetical scenario occurs, Miami really gets their focus and shows the rest of the league that they mean serious business, and maybe we’re sitting here talking about the Dolphins being undefeated instead of the Chiefs. Jonathan Martin could have stopped all of this in its tracks by doing just that. Instead, he allowed this situation to propagate itself and get progressively worse.
My guess is that Richie Incognito might never play professional football again unless one of these coaches comes up and really confesses that they pressured him to toughen the guy up and admits total fault. But even then, you’ve got another whole different thing going on there because he might also have really sever racial beliefs that might not be healthy anywhere.
On the other hand, I’m certain that Jonathan Martin won’t ever play again, because now he’s in a position where everybody views him as a bitch and rightfully so. And that’s not bullying at all, that’s just telling it like it is. If the whole “culture” thing is even used as an excuse for any of this, his career is fucking over. Whereas Incognito is a guy who is probably crazy, he’s also good at what he does and can do it for a couple more years. The Dolphins or any one of the other 31 teams can find another Jonathan Martin in ANY NFL draft.
I’ll wrap this up by saying a big “fuck you” to both of these guys for causing all of this trouble and distracting the rest of us from focusing on all of the awesome games this upcoming weekend. It’s been a bad story that’s about to get a lot worse, and while other stories can damage the NFL’s image this one damaged its image by one guy saying his feelings were hurt by another guy which is the worst part of all of this. I could go on for years about this subject and every hour something new and annoying comes out so there’s no point for me to keep going here. There might be a part three to this depending on what happens but who knows. Honestly, in the meantime I’m hoping that something on the field happens that is more exciting and thought-provoking.