Richie Incognito's social-media cameos don't age too well.
As ESPN's James Walker reports, the Miami Dolphins offensive lineman has been suspended for "conduct detrimental to the team," stemming from ongoing bullying allegations purported in the wake of Jonathan Martin's departure.
UPDATE: Monday, November 4, 2013 at 5:25 p.m. ET
As expected, a great deal of past articles and posts are being investigated anew. To that end, Fox Sports Radio's Artrell Hawkins Jr. tweeted out this snapshot of a Bengals vs. Dolphins program.
As if things couldn't get any more awkward, that is indeed Incognito proclaiming Martin as the easiest teammate to scare.
---End of update---
For the moment, there isn't much for fans to do but wait for a controversial story to completely unfold. Then again, you can always scroll through Twitter, Instagram or YouTube for some intriguing posts in the interim.
CBS Sports' John Breech did just that, finding a couple of social-media blasts that have a far less whimsical feel the second time around.
Here is a tweet from Incognito posted back in April wherein he uses the moniker "big weirdo" that Martin supposedly took exception to:
There is also this post from Incognito's Instagram feed that highlights a sentiment that may have elicited laughter before all of the allegations:
Six months ago, that one post may have had fans grinning over the idea of veterans giving rookies a hard time. Now, we know things may have been far worse around the Dolphins facilities.
Reports continue to hint that circumstances were much more villainous than mere hazing, traipsing into the land of pure harassment.
Some, like the Miami Herald's Adam Beasley, reported veterans were using rookies like ATMs during the year. A FOX Sports report from NESN's Luke Hughes proclaimed rookies were once tasked with paying a $30,000 restaurant bill left for them by veterans.
However, when it comes to Incognito and Martin, things go far beyond that. According to CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora, text messages from Incognito to Martin were discovered. Reportedly, the use of the term "half-n*****" was used to describe Martin, who is biracial.
La Canfora continued in regard to text messages that shed light on the kind of filth Martin may be dealing with:
There are several instances of threats as well, the sources said, and overall disturbing exchanges, including one in which Incognito refers to defecating in Martin's mouth.
Incognito also made reference to tracking down members of Martin's family and harming them in the texts as well, according to a source.
Incognito, for his part, says Martin has texted him to say he doesn't blame his teammates and that it's more about the culture in the NFL in general, per NFL Media's Jeff Darlington (via Marc Sessler of NFL.com).
In an odd twist, a recent tweet from Incognito may ring true, just not necessarily in the manner he may have intended:
Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth. Buddha— Richie incognito (@68INCOGNITO) November 3, 2013
There is another peculiar and altogether cringe-worthy video floating around with Incognito's grinning mug featured. Chris Strauss of For the Win reminds us of the following Dolphins video that once asked fans to stay classy:
One cannot help but wince while watching that clip now.
This is hardly the end of this story for the franchise. The embattled Incognito will apparently be the main antagonist in the latest bullying controversy, having to answer for texts, posts and actions that are just now beginning to reach a much larger audience in a very different light.
For Martin, the hope is that he finds his way back to the football field. As Walker previously reported, there is a wealth of Miami teammates who are eager to welcome him back with open arms.
Some of you would rather embrace the status quo of hazing in the sport. But clearly, there are those who have no idea how to separate harmless ribbing from the kind of harassment that would cause an emotional breakdown.
In the end, hazing continues throughout the NFL and all levels of football, spreading far and wide to many other sports as well.
That doesn't make it right.