After taking to Twitter last week to rant against his teammate Jonathan Martin and seemingly anyone else who wronged him, Richie Incognito returned on Monday to apologize for his behavior.
The apology came in an extended message on his account:
I apologize for acting like a big baby the last few days. This has all been so much on me and my family. I just want to play football— Richie Incognito (@68INCOGNITO) February 17, 2014
I want everyone to know I'm in good spirits and looking forward to playing again one day— Richie Incognito (@68INCOGNITO) February 17, 2014
I would like to send Jonathan my apologies as well. Until someone tells me different you are still my brother. No hard feelings :)— Richie Incognito (@68INCOGNITO) February 18, 2014
There are no winners in the courts. Just families left to deal with their decisions and pick up the pieces. You can't free something— Richie Incognito (@68INCOGNITO) February 18, 2014
Incognito then thanked the league and called it a night:
The former Miami Dolphins offensive lineman was suspended from the team after allegations of abuse and harassment brought upon by Martin. After conducting an independent investigation of the incident, Ted Wells reported (h/t Omar Kelly of the South Florida Sun Sentinel):
The Report finds that the assistant trainer repeatedly was the object of racial slurs and other racially derogatory language; that the other offensive lineman was subjected to homophobic name-calling and improper physical touching; and that Martin was taunted on a persistent basis with sexually explicit remarks about his sister and his mother and at times ridiculed with racial insults and other offensive comments.
In an apparent response to the report, Incognito vented his frustrations in a Twitter rant last Wednesday. He started things off by explaining his side of the story concerning his "friend," believing the truth was not coming out:
Dear Jon Martin..... The truth is going to bury you and your entire "camp". You could have told the truth the entire time.— Richie Incognito (@68INCOGNITO) February 12, 2014
I'm guilty of being a loyal friend and good teammate. I apologize for my poor language and rude remarks. I've never denied it.— Richie Incognito (@68INCOGNITO) February 12, 2014
He followed that up with a brief apology to all of those he offended:
I apologize to all of the women out there that I offended with my text messages to my close personal friend.— Richie Incognito (@68INCOGNITO) February 12, 2014
Unfortunately, he immediately crossed the line with personal details, seemingly sinking himself deeper into the mess:
FACT: Jonathan Martin told me he thought about taking his own life in MAY 2013 b/c he wasn't playing well. Told me he felt worthless.— Richie Incognito (@68INCOGNITO) February 12, 2014
After two days' worth of retweeting various negative comments, he directly addressed Wells' report:
You could not define me in 144 years let alone 144 pages Mr Wells. Thank you for your hard work and dedication.— Richie Incognito (@68INCOGNITO) February 15, 2014
He then ended it with a "goodbye" to Twitter:
Goodbye twitter. Be well See you on the other side 😎— Richie Incognito (@68INCOGNITO) February 15, 2014
While the saga is likely far from over, Incognito at least appears to have realized the mistakes from his behavior. Then again, not everyone is buying his recent message.
Jim Weber of Lost Letterman believes there is a long way to go to make up for his actions:
I'm sure Richie Incognito's sideways smiley face will make everything water under the bridge for Johnathan Martin...— Jim Weber (@JimMWeber) February 18, 2014
T.J. Quinn of ESPN points out that Incognito is doing himself more harm than good with his online persona:
To read Richie Incognito's feed is to watch a man in extended meltdown. Seems like Martin is far more likely to emerge intact when this ends— T.J. Quinn (@TJQuinnESPN) February 18, 2014
At the very least, it seems clear that the offensive guard wants to play in the NFL again. Despite the issues, that remains a possibility.
Back in November, Dan Hanzus of NFL.com reported that Incognito still had support in the Dolphins' locker room. Meanwhile, Ross Tucker of the Sporting News points out that the player's actions were not too uncommon, saying, "There's a Richie Incognito on every team."
Incognito was named to the 2012 Pro Bowl and has proven to be one of the better guards in the NFL when he is on the field. This factor is certain to at least give him an opportunity to get a new contract before his career is over.
However, any team considering adding him to its roster will undoubtedly need to express caution. Incognito is no stranger to controversy, and the Martin incident and its subsequent fallout is one all teams will certainly take very seriously.
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