Reported texts do little to support Jonathan Martin's bullying claims
More than 1,000 texts between Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin were reportedly obtained by The Big Lead. While many of the texts are crude, they paint a picture of friendship not bullying writes Charlie McCarthy.
Jonathan Martin (left) left the Dolphins last October, claiming he was distressed by constant verbal and racial attacks by teammates such as Richie Incognito (right).
USA TODAY Sports
By Charlie McCarthy
It's early January 2013. Miami Dolphins teammates Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin are texting each other about an unofficial team vacation to Las Vegas.
Incognito, 1/9/2013 18:48: You need to bring 6k in cash! Hooker party on u
A lot of talk about women and partying. Crude comments. Friendly words.
There were even texts showing concern for Martin after the tackle left the Dolphins during the last week of October. Incognito later was suspended for conduct detrimental to the team and missed the final eight games of the '13 season.
The two linemen who have been at the center of an alleged bullying scandal that rocked the Dolphins and the NFL clearly appeared to have been good friends.
Martin, at times, initiated exchanges with Incognito, known among other things for being a jokester who could be as crass as they come. Many times he called Martin the vulgar term for "wimp" when Martin would opt to stay in. Martin steered clear of the name-calling.
NFL special investigator Ted Wells is expected to releases his findings this week about what happened between Martin and Incognito.
Various media outlets previously reported Incognito texts and voicemails containing racial epithets. In the text exchanges, there's vague talk of drug use.
Were the texts often vile and crude? Yes.
Silly and juvenile? Yes.
If Martin had been "dealing with" something, it certainly didn't appear to be personal toward Incognito. The two texted each other in a way one might expect from young athletes blessed with money, fame and ready to conquer the world.
In today's politically correct world, some conduct that has been accepted in certain locker-room/clubhouse environments for a long time certainly needs to stop. If that's a result from the Martin-Incognito scandal, then great.
Hopefully, the controversy also will reinforce that people, especially celebrities such as professional athletes, should watch what they say and do at all times. That might be a bit unfair, but it's also prudent in today's society.
Athletes need to remember they live in the real world and not an immune place where they can say and do what they want without facing penalties.
Was all this the result of Martin being bullied?
Perhaps in Martin's mind, but not really from the outside looking in.