For months now, we've heard lots and lots of rumors about the alleged bullying that took place between Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin late last year that led to Martin leaving the Dolphins in the middle of the 2013-14 NFL season and the Dolphins suspending Incognito indefinitely. The thought was that Incognito had spent the better part of 2013 bullying Martin—and that Martin had finally had enough of the way he was being treated by Incognito and other players on the Dolphins. The allegations made the entire Dolphins franchise look bad and forever altered the course of both Incognito and Martin's careers.
It's likely that we'll never know exactly what happened between Incognito and Martin prior to their falling out. But late last night, The Big Lead got their hands on more than 1,000 text messages that were exchanged by the two offensive lineman between October 2012 and November 2013. And the texts—which are, at times, very, very vulgar—paint a pretty vivid picture of what Incognito and Martin's relationship was like. And truthfully, it's not the same picture that we've had in our heads for the last few months. So after reading through all 48 pages of the text messages this morning, we decided to try and make sense of it all by putting together a list of the 5 things we learned from Incognito and Martin's leaked text messages. Here are just a few of the observations that we made…
#1. While Incognito did send a lot of mean tweets to Martin over the course of the last two years, it's clear that the teammates had a pretty close relationship.
If you take a lot of Incognito's tweets out of context, it sounds like he is bullying Martin, to some extent. For instance, this is one of the more vile text messages that Incognito sent to Martin:
However, if you read the texts surrounding that one, it's clear that Martin didn't sound like he was all that offended by Incognito's "jokes" about him. He responded to that particular text with this:
And just a few hours later, Incognito was asking Martin how things were going with him. So it's pretty evident that these two did have a friendship, even though it included them making fun of one another quite a bit.
#2. Incognito and Martin spent a ton of time going out and partying together.
There were times when Incognito and Martin went a week or more at a time without texting one another. But then, seemingly out of nowhere, Incognito would hit Martin up and tell him to come out with him or vice versa:
In fact, after reading through the texts, it feels like about 85 percent of their messages had to do with either meeting up at a club or making fun of one another for not wanting to get off the couch and go out.
#3. Incognito seemed genuinely interested in helping Martin become a better NFL player.
Although the majority of his texts to Martin were about going out and partying, Incognito also spent a lot of time talking to Martin about football-related matters. During the spring of 2013, in particular, he checked up on Martin to make sure that he was working out and staying in shape. He also asked if Martin had been watching film from the 2012-13 NFL season and even told him how to get access to film on his iPad:
We honestly didn't expect to see a lot of texts like this from Incognito to Martin. But in addition to all of the stuff about partying, Incognito worked football into the mix a lot. Also worth noting: Incognito seemed to watch a lot of football during his downtime as well. Say what you want about the guy, but after reading the texts he sent to Martin, it's clear that when he's not out partying, Incognito is focused on football.
#4. When Martin decided not to attend a trip to Las Vegas with Incognito in early 2013, Incognito didn't seem to mind.
Early last year, Incognito orchestrated a trip to Las Vegas that called for him, Martin, and several of their Dolphins teammates to go to Sin City for a boys weekend. But Martin backed out of the trip at the last minute after Incognito told him that he needed to bring $6000 to spend on his teammates. Initial reports indicated that Incognito was furious with Martin for canceling on him. But in this text message exchange, Incognito lets him off the hook without even asking for much explanation:
#5. Incognito felt comfortable enough to send Martin text messages that were racist, and Martin didn't seem to mind.
This is the most surprising thing we learned from all of the texts exchanged by Incognito and Martin. He didn't do it often, but every now and then, Incognito would send Martin a text like this:
And as you can see, Martin didn't call him out for it or seem to mind. As we mentioned, Incognito didn't start every single conversation he had with Martin by addressing him like that. But it did happen more than a few times.
If you're interested in reading the rest of the text messages that Incognito and Martin exchanged—including their final messages to one another—go here. We can pretty much guarantee that you'll walk away shaking your head at both players.
[via The Big Lead]