Please Have Several Seats: The Innocent, Bullied Baby Image of Jonathan Martin

According to The New York Post, The unearthed more than 1,000 alleged text messages between The Gentle Giant Jonathan Martin and The N-word Apologist Richie Incognegro, which reveal a picture of two teammates bonding through obscene language and “does little to support Martin’s allegations of bullying and harassment."

Interestingly enough, the messages wrap up in November shortly after Martin dropped the bullying bombshell that shook the NFL world for a few weeks, got Incognito booted from Fintown and put Incognito through an unprecedented car wash of media and fan bashing. Incognito sent three texts which went unanswered: “I heard it’s all coming from your Ur agent?” “I need you buddy I’m getting killed in the media.” “Bro can we talk? The Dolphins are talking about releasing me.”

Sure, Incognito sounds scared and desperate in those texts and probably curbed his usual delivery a bit, but wouldn’t you be if your entire career was about to get turned into cow dung by somebody that is supposed to be in a brotherhood with you? I don’t see the tone of a racist guy who hates Martin and maliciously put him through a torturous hell. I see a guy who can’t believe what is happening and still doesn’t believe that it was Martin who accused him of these things. Incognito seems to believe that their relationship is cool enough for the guys to talk this out. He called him “bro” and “buddy” and called upon him as a friend to rectify this misunderstanding. By that time, the press had taken the story and was running through hell with gasoline draws on.

We now know why Martin didn’t answer the messages. For the same reason, he tried to assassinate the entire Dolphin’s organization with a nice stab in the back. He's out for self. It's probably the very thing that alienated him from Dolphin's players in the first place.

With the media hype in full effect and Martin garnering most of the public sympathy, Martin’s camp tried to paint this picture of him being a victim of repeated racial and derogatory phone calls and attacks by Incognito, which culminated in a high school-like cafeteria incident where Martin just couldn’t take it anymore and he quit the team. Incognito was then suspended from the team for threats and homophobic language directed towards Huggy Bear Martin in explicit voicemails.

As special investigator Ted Wells prepares to release his report of the situation for the league, Martin is already hustling backwards by throwing Incognito a lifeline and placing the blame on the Dolphins' locker room culture. He publicly stated to Tony Dungy on NBC Today last week that he didn’t blame Incognito for the situation. He claimed to be more upset by the “culture around football and the locker room.” Martin claims "he felt trapped" and didn't have the tools to work his way through it. He also told Dungy that he asked around the league and gathered that the behavior exhibited by the Dolphin's surpassed "typical" locker room hazing.




So Incognito gets bashed and persecuted by public opinion and then castigated from his team for nothing? What Martin is really saying then is that the people everyone should be attacking are the players and coaches from the 50s and 60s, who grew the game into the multi-billion dollar industry, but built it upon a flawed foundation of politically incorrect locker room warts.

Unfortunately, there’s no way to suspend, fine, put on trial or publically fry the “culture around football and the locker room.” That’s the weakest and vaguest sh*t I have ever heard.  Martin may have been throwing Incognito a bone, but in the process he threw Miami’s head coach Joe Philbin — just as much a victim and product of the NFL “culture” as any player – under the bus.

The problem I have with this situation now is different from my initial beef with “Charmin” Martin. At first I found it borderline comical and a bit unbelievable that a 300-pound man could be bullied. I’ve since been shamed into not saying such things, by a barrage of emails and texts from caring mothers and victims of bullying across the globe. My “insensitivity” to such an important issue has been rehabilitated and I understand now that grown men can too be bullied – Even NFL offensive lineman.

My new issue with the reality star of the hit series, “Bullygate” is that the trail of text messages shows that the two men communicated in that nature and never once reveals Martin asking Incognito to chill with the curses and the names. Martin never once expressed in these messages that Incognito was affecting him so negatively. In fact, it seems Martin was an instigator in some instances and egged on Incognito's raunchy appetite.

Social skills and developing relationships is something humans work on their entire lives. What we learn early on, however, is that in establishing a relationship with another individual you set your boundaries with them immediately to avoid situations like the Martin-Incognito fiasco. If you don’t express your likes and dislikes to people, they will stomp all over you like Walter “Sweetness” Payton running the hill in a workout.

NY Post also says that the messages “sent between October 2012 and November 2013, seem to reveal a relationship that, while unorthodox, seems to be based on fraternity-brotherhood-like banter.”

In other words they did a lot of cursing, offensive name-calling, talking about cars, liquor, drugs, strippers and hookers. You know; things that young men do.

In one particular text sent last March, Incognito himself summed up their relationship when he allegedly sent three consecutive texts, reading, “What’s up pussy?” “I love u” #bipolar relationship.”

“Martin typically nonchalant in the messages, replied, “Haha what’s good man?”

I don’t sense any offensive vibes here. Typical dude rap.

One of the issues that reportedly broke the Teddy Bear’s back was when Martin referenced he was forced to pay thousands of dollars for a Vegas trip. In the voicemails Incognito asks for $6000 for the trip, but Martin declines.

Incognito replies, “It’s all good. Let me know if you need anything.”

Martin later engages Incognito saying, “Yup…Don’t worry I know I still gotta pay for the hookers lol.”

“Don’t forget the cocaine too. No dude hookers you faggot,” Incognito typically responds.

Incognito’s fluid use of homophobic slurs also drew the ire of gay activists and liberal publications across the country. He simultaneously became the face of racism, bullying and gay-bashing. Incognito’s constant reference to Martin’s sexuality is also a lightening-rod issue. If Martin is homosexual, then that makes Incognito’s comments even more foul and a borderline hate crime. If Martin isn’t, at the very least Incognito’s comments are distasteful to the unintended ear.

The messages paint a picture of a relationship gone bad. A friendship based on one loud, obnoxious person constantly riding a docile, non-confrontational individual, but it seemed to work for them.

It remains hard to understand how there’s over a thousand texts recovered and Martin never told Incognito to just chill with the name calling and the insults. The nonchalant references to every possible NFL rule infraction imaginable doesn’t exactly reflect well on the "pure" image Martin’s legal team is trying to display. Was he really trapped in a venomous NFL locker room culture? Or was he a willing participant as these text messages imply?

Prostitution? Cocaine? Really brother Martin? Getting white boy wasted popping Molly’s and hitting the King Kong bong too?

Incognito’s attorney released 10 pages of text messages to CBS4 in Miami Friday, some referencing illegal drug use by both players. Sounds like the final desperation bomb has been dropped by Incognito. With no future prospects in site and probably at risk of being blackballed from the game, he is basically saying, "Jon boy if I’m going down then you’re going down with me.”

The texts also incriminate teammate Mike Pouncey as a bud-blazer:

On July 29, 2013, Incognito is exchanging texts with Martin and said, “Pop a couple Molly I’m sweeeeatin.” 

"Molly" is a commonly used slang term for ecstasy, popularized by rappers and referenced in most songs today.

 On August 31, 2013, Incognito is trying to coax Martin to go out with him and two women when Martin writes, “My friend Mary Jane has me glued to the couch.” Incognito writes back, “F***** stoner. Take a shower and get ur a** down here. These bit**** are ready.”

Martin responds, “I’m staying in man. My liver can’t take anymore abuse.” Incognito texts back, “Me too,” before texting back about 90 minutes later, “Broooooo Ur missing out.”

Later in September 2013, the duo are exchanging messages again with Incognito texting Martin asking, “R u alive?” Martin responded, “Haha yeah. That was fun.” Incognito wrote back, “Hell yea Did u go to pouncey’s after? I’ll kill u if u did.”

Martin wrote back in two straight messages, “Lol hell no. No drugs for me rest of season.” Incognito texted back, “Goooood That s*** is ridiculous.”

This is where the slope gets slippery. Martin might have opened up a can of worms that will force him to find other employment after these legal matters are settled and reveal things about himself he may not want the public to know. Say what you want about Richie Incognito, but Jonathan Martin was a willing participant in ratchet behavior as well. He’s no angel. He needs to cut the pity party because nobody’s showing up. Except maybe a couple of hookers.

JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The General Manager of Content & Social Media is in his 25th year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, newspapers, magazines and national TV. His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.