The plot thickens in the case of Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin. A number of Dolphins players publicly came out in support of Incognito on Wednesday.
Offensive tackle Tyson Clabo said, “I don’t think what happened is necessary. I don’t know why he’s doing this, and the only person who knows why is Jonathan Martin.”
Quarterback Ryan Tannehill said Incognito was like a mentor to Martin, ESPN reports.
“Richie said, ‘Jonathan is like my little brother.’ I think that’s an accurate depiction,” Tannehill said. “He gave him a hard time. He messed with him. But he was the first one there to have his back in any situation.”
Left tackle Bryant McKinnie, echoed that sentiment, saying, “I thought they were friends. They looked like friends to me. I never seen any tension or anything. I didn’t see this coming. The only person who got [punished] was Richie. The other guy, that was his option. He had a choice what he wanted to do. Richie didn’t really have a choice.”
Offensive guard John Jerry said Incognito was far from a racist, the New York Post reports.
“I have never heard him say it around me,” Jerry said. “I would have just laughed it off if he had. He’s a guy I’m with more than my own family, so I know what type of guy he is, and he’s not a racist.”
There are also reports that have come to light that say coach Joe Philbin encouraged Incognito to “toughen up” Martin last year. On the other side, Martin’s agent, Rick Smith, supposedly went to GM Jeff Ireland with allegation that Incognito was bullying Martin, to which Ireland responded that Martin should just “punch” him and get over it, according to CBS Sports.
Clabo had a similar sentiment, also telling media on Wednesday, “I think if you have a problem with somebody — a legitimate problem with somebody — you should say, ‘I have a problem with this,’ and stand up and be a man.”