The more things change, the more they stay the same as far as the NFL is concerned.
Richie Incognito is back in the NFL because the Oakland Raiders don’t care about character issues.
If you can still play at a high level, there will always be work for you in that league, unless your name is Colin Kaepernick.
Incognito is infamously known for what happened when he played for the Miami Dolphins back in 2013, when he was accused of bullying teammate Jonathan Martin by using racial and homophobic slurs against him.
Since then, Incognito has been involved in multiple incidents, on and off the filed, and is generally thought of as a dirty player. On Tuesday, the Raiders signed him to a one-year deal because they believe he can help them.
“Whenever he’s been focused on activities solely on the field, he’s been fine, and we’ve done a one-year prove-it deal with him,” said Raiders General Manager Mike Mayock. “And prove it means both on and off the field. There’s some expectations he’s got to meet in both areas. He turns 36 in July. We think he’s going to be a good football player and allow himself to compete for the left guard job. And just as important, he’s got to prove it off the field.”
Excellent. Let’s make sure Richie Incognito gets every opportunity to play in the NFL for as long as he can. pic.twitter.com/H56qCO0KIo
— David Steele (@David_C_Steele) May 28, 2019
“We’re going to provide the infrastructure for him,” Mayock continued. “At the end of the day, it’s a two-way street — we’ve got to help him help himself.”
The last time Incognito played football was with the Buffalo Bills from 2015 to 2017, in which he made the Pro Bowl in each season. The talent has always been there, it’s all the other stuff that’s been the issue with Incognito.
However, those things tend to get overlooked when you’re white.
As you can guess, the signing has caused quite the stir as Incognito is an unapologetic racist. However, no one should be surprised that the Raiders are the team that’s giving him his latest chance, as they’ve recently killed the league’s Rooney Rule twice.
In December, the Raiders totally ignored the rule when they hired Mayock, a man with no prior front office experience. And last year, Raiders owner Mark Davis all but admitted that he hired Jon Gruden before he fired then-head coach Jack Del Rio.
In both cases, personnel decisions were made before minority candidates ever had a chance. Mind you, the Raiders were the first franchise to hire a black man, Art Shell, as head coach in the modern era.
But, as the saying goes, the more things change the more they stay the same.
And with the signing of Incognito, it’s just even more proof that things in the NFL aren’t getting any better.