In 2013, after their Thursday night, 22-20 win over the Cincinnati Bengals, Miami Dolphins guard Richie Incognito, who started all eight games for the team was suspended for what is now known as the Bullygate scandal.
Following the Bengals game, Incognito was suspended by the Dolphins for the rest of the season and subsequently never played another down for the team. Prior to the Cincinnati game, Dolphins tackle at the time Jonathan Martin left the team on October 28 after he had said Incognito, guard John Jerry and center Mike Pouncey used racial slurs, vulgar language and bullied Martin on and off the football field.
After being blacklisted for the entire 2014 season, Incognito signed with the Buffalo Bills on February 7, of 2015. In his first extensive interview with the South Florida media since his departure, Incognito said he hasn’t spoken with Martin since the incident.
“Zero conversation with Jonathan Martin,” Incognito said. “He’s reached out and tried to speak a few times, but I have nothing to say.”
Incognito also said Dolphins owner Stephen Ross hasn’t talked with him.
“Mr. Ross never reached out to me,” Incognito said. “And I haven’t had a word with Stephen Ross since the suspension.”
At the time of Bullygate, Ross made it clear that he thought it was Incognito’s fault for a lot of the things that happened in the scandal. So that’s probably the reason Ross and Incognito have not spoken since the 2013 season.
Incognito went from one of the best players on the Dolphins roster in 2013, to an outcast.
“It was nuts, man,” Incognito said. “It got turned upside down. You guys (reporters) had a front-row seat to the circus…. The whole incident went down. I’m a pariah in the national media and basically turned radioactive there for a few months.”
Since signing with the Bills in 2015, Incognito has reclaimed his place as one of the best guards in the NFL. Last season, Incognito played in all 16 games for Buffalo as he was rated the second best guard in the league by Pro Football Focus and the best left guard in the NFL.
Following the 2015 season, Incognito was selected to the Pro Bowl for the second time in his career.
“He has been unbelievable here,” Bills coach Rex Ryan said. “He’s a leader here. Every teammate respects him, and he’s earned that right. People in our community look up to Richie. Everybody loves him. I can’t speak to what happened in the past, but I can tell you what he’s doing right now. He’s been outstanding on the football field, in the classroom and in our community.”
Incognito has always been held in high regards to not only his current teammates but still to some of his former Dolphin teammates. He says he stills keeps in touch with a lot of his teammates and even keeps a close eye on them.
“I speak to guys routinely,” Incognito said. “It is tough during the season because we are doing our thing. I spoke with (Kraig) Urbik last week, I saw Tannehill last time I was in town. So, I’m still close with a lot of the guys.”
Incognito says he is still trying to find the lessons and answers in the Bullygate scandal as they’re different sides to the story.
“I don’t know,” Incognito said. “I think I’m still searching for the lesson in all of it. Everything went down the way it did and I think there was what happened in the media and then there was actually what happened. And only me, Jonathan Martin and the guys in that locker room know exactly what happened and that’s it. So as far as a lesson, I think it’s tough.”
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