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Richie Incognito, speaking extensively for the first time since he was suspended a week ago, says no Miami Dolphins teammate supported Jonathan Martin more than he did and that the anecdotes resulting from the controversy he finds himself at the center of are only a product of their environment.
“And that’s something that we use all the time,” Incognito told Fox Sports in an interview to air in full later Sunday.
“This isn’t an issue about bullying, this is of mine and Jon’s relationship,” Incognito said to Fox Sports. “You can ask anyone in the Miami locker room, ‘Who had Jon Martin’s back the absolute most?’ and they’ll undoubtedly tell you me.”
The NFL is investigating the troubled relationship between Incognito and Martin, who left the Dolphins two weeks ago because of emotional issues stemming from alleged harassment and misconduct.
Incognito was suspended last Sunday for conduct detrimental for the team after being identified as one of multiple teammates who harassed Martin, who will discuss the case late next week with a special investigator hired by the NFL. Allegations by the second-year offensive tackle include a malicious physical attack by a teammate.
“All this stuff coming out, it speaks to the culture of our locker room, our closeness, our brotherhood,” Incognito said in the Fox Sports interview. “And the racism, the bad words, that’s what I regret most. But that’s a product of the environment.”
Several others Dolphins players have refuted Martin’s claim of the physical attack, saying Saturday they were unaware of any violence in the locker room.
Incognito has long been known for out-of-bounds behavior, including a May 2012 incident that surfaced last week. A police report said a female volunteer at a Dolphins charity golf tournament complained that Incognito harassed and molested her.
Dolphins coach Joe Philbin said Saturday the team was aware of the 2012 incident and “took immediate action,” declining to reveal specifics.
ESPN.com Dolphins reporter James Walker and information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.