WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — The alleged threats of violence and racial slurs used by Miami Dolphins offensive lineman Richie Incognito in voice mail and text messages sent to teammate Jonathan Martin have thrust the National Football League into the center of an ever intensifying microscope focused on bullying.
Among a plethora of intimidating messages left by Incognito were threats to harm Martin’s mother and defecate in the player’s mouth, according to multiple reports.
The 30-year-old Incognito is also alleged to have referred to the bi-racial Martin as a “half n***er.”
The Dolphins levied an indefinite suspension against Incognito late Sunday after team officials were made aware of the bizarre messages, while Martin has taken a de facto leave of absence from football.
On Tuesday, the union representing NFL players, which has been conducting its own investigation into the Miami matter, issued the following statement: “We expect that the NFL and its clubs create a safe and professional workplace for all players and that owners, executives, coaches and players should set the best standards and examples. It is the duty of this union to hold the clubs and teams accountable for safety and professionalism in the workplace.
As the representative organization of all players, the NFLPA will insist on a fair investigation for all involved. We will continue to remain in contact with the impacted players, their representatives and player leadership.”
A day earlier, Washington Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan told reporters he does not tolerate bullying in the locker room, adding he’s never seen anything like the circumstances in South Florida.