That explains a lot. It really does. Yesterday, the Miami Dolphins drastically changed course, from saying there was no investigation into the Jonathan Martin situation to suspending Richie Incognito and asking for an investigation. What changed?
Martin's representatives issued a formal complaint to the Dolphins, alleging player misconduct within the locker room. Included with that complaint were text messages and voicemails from Incognito to Martin that were said to possibly be racial in nature and include threats. Today, one of those voice mails appears to have leaked, and justifies Martin's claims and the suspension of Incognito.
From ESPN's Adam Schefter:
1: Richie Incognito left this VM for Jonathan Martin in April 2013: "Hey, wassup, you half n----- piece of (expletive)...— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 4, 2013
2. More Incognito to Martin: "I saw you on Twitter, you been training ten weeks. (I want to) (expletive) in your (expl) mouth....— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 4, 2013
3. Incognito VM to Martin: "(I'm going to) slap your (expletive) mouth. (I'm going to) slap your real mother across the face (laughter).— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 4, 2013
4. Incognito to Martin, all on same VM in April 2013: "(Expletive) you, you're still a rookie. I'll kill you."— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 4, 2013
The immediate suspension of Incognito thanks to this voicemail alone seems justified.
Martin, according to various reports yesterday, approached head coach Joe Philbin with concerns about the locker room conduct this offseason. According to NFL.com's Albert Breer, the team believed they had handled the complaint, as well as any health issues Martin may have had at that time:
I'll also say this -- The Dolphins legitimately believed Martin's issues were taken care of. And Martin's teammates didn't know about them.— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) November 4, 2013
The investigation is still on going, and more details will likely come out as more time passes. What will be interesting to watch is, how much did Philbin, General Manager Jeff Ireland, owner Stephen Ross, and other players know. Was Incognito making these voicemail messages where no one else knew, or is this truly a systemic issue within the Dolphins organization?
What turn is next in an ever evolving situation? We shall see.