Text messages traded between Miami Dolphins player Richie Incognito and former teammate Jonathan Martin have been leaked to Fox News as Incognito fights to clear his name of bullying accusations.
Incognito is aiming to repeal his NFL suspension in time to play next season and has brought on a public relations firm, in addition to legal representation, to work toward that end, Fox News reports. His team has turned over text messages to investigators that they claim show he was not bullying Martin, but engaging in banter with his former friend.
The racial slurs and threats coming from Incognito that Martin said made him feel “trapped” in an interview with NBC were actually coming from both parties, Incognito’s team claims.
Incognito’s attorney, Mark Schamel of Womble, Carlyle, Sandridge & Rice law firm, told Fox News that “the coarse and unacceptable comments and text messages that were sent to Jonathan Martin were of the same poor taste as those sent by him.”
One of the text exchanges leaked to Fox was from Dec. 17, 2012.
Martin texted Incognito, “Ima egg your house & light a bag of s— on fire then ring your doorbell.”
Incognito replied, “I’m going to shoot you and claim self-defense, I’m white ur black I’ll walk.”
It was only after Martin was demoted to right tackle and on shaky terms with the Dolphins that he called it quits with the team and claimed he was being bullied, lawyer Mark Schamel said in a statement.
Incognito’s lawyer also told Fox News that Martin’s mother is a prominent lawyer who is practiced in labor law, and because of this connection, Martin knew he could make a case of bullying.
“Rather than deal with his poor on field performance and myriad of other issues, Martin is now hiding behind false allegations,” Schamel said.