It has to be a hard existence for Richie Incognito right now.
Many people won't have any pity on the Dolphins guard, given the allegations of racially charged and intimidating messages left by Incognito to Jonathan Martin, who has left the Dolphins. The Dolphins have suspended Incognito while the NFL investigates the claims he harassed and intimidated Martin.
Intense NFL fans knew of Incognito's off-field issues, but to most people Incognito was your typical anonymous offensive lineman. Everyone who follows the NFL (and many who don't) know who he is now and probably not in a positive way. Now Incognito is the key name in a huge NFL controversy, and has television cameras waiting to get a comment from him outside various appointments.
WSVN was waiting when Incognito walked to his car, and the reporter asked him about Martin and his suspension. This surely wasn't happening to him a week ago.
"I'm just trying to weather the storm right now," Incognito said. "This will pass."
That's a great projection of confidence from Incognito, but it's also hard to see how this just passes over. It's at least possible that Incognito won't play for the Dolphins again, and given his past issues and the nature of this problem, it's possible no other team would sign him. That might depend on what the NFL's investigation turns up.
The story took yet another odd turn on Tuesday night when the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported that the Dolphins coaches asked Incognito to "toughen up" Martin after he missed a voluntary workout last spring. The Sun-Sentinel's sources say that Incognito may have taken those orders too far. It adds another dimension to the investigation, and if the Dolphins did tell Incognito that, the NFL then will be looking into what responsibility the team has in how Martin was treated in his first season-and-a-half with the Dolphins.
Incognito may be right, and this storm does pass for him personally. But it's hard to see how this entire mess won't result in some long overdue changes in the NFL's locker room culture.
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