Dolphins ban Incognito after alleged teammate harrassment
Miami Dolphins offensive guard Richie Incognito has been suspended indefinitely by the National Football League team as the club asked the league to look into his alleged harrassment of teammate Jonathan Martin.
ESPN reported that Incognito sent Martin, an offensive tackle, a voice message last April with a racist slur as well as threats to kill him, slap his mother and defecate in his mouth. The report says such statements were made multiple times and not isolated incidents.
Martin left the Dolphins last week to seek treatment for an emotional issue after being the victim of a prank in the team lunchroom.
In the meantime, the Dolphins (4-4) banned Incognito, who had been on the team's leadership council.
"The Miami Dolphins have suspended Richie Incognito for conduct detrimental to the team," the team said in a statement.
"We believe in maintaining a culture of respect for one another and as a result we believe this decision is in the best interest of the organization at this time.
"We reached out to the NFL to conduct an objective and thorough review. We will continue to work with the league on this matter."
Martin had played Miami's first six games at left tackle, protecting the quarterback's blind side, before being shifted to right tackle after the Dolphins obtained Bryant McKinnie earlier this month.
Incognito has a history of getting into trouble, being suspended at the University of Nebraska for violating team rules, dismissed by the University of Oregon team after switching schools, being voted the "NFL's Dirtiest Player" in a 2009 player poll by the Sporting News and being cut by the St. Louis Rams after two personal fouls in a 2009 game and arguing with coach Steve Spagnuolo.
In 2011, Oakland defensive lineman Richard Seymour was fined $30,000 for punching Incognito during a game and in August this year, Houston defensive lineman Antonio Smith incurred a one-game suspension for swinging his helmet at Incognito during a pre-season matchup.