Incognito Bullying Case: Ranting Tweets and Plot Twists has partnered with LexisNexis to bring you this content.

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Bullying, no doubt, can be exhibited 140 characters at a time.

Richie Incognito confirmed this — and more — Wednesday with a Twitter meltdown for the ages that revealed a few more layers of who he is and why he is a central figure in a bizarre NFL controversy.

He could no longer keep up the facade.

"Dear Jon Martin..... the truth is going to bury you," Incognito wrote in a midafternoon tweet.

This, eight days after Incognito tweeted about his 100% support for Martin.

Talk about mixed signals.

Even worse, Incognito, who has described himself as a best friend to Martin, wrote on Twitter that Martin shared suicidal thoughts with him in May.

Not exactly the proper forum to use to share that material — even from a man who clearly needs help in dealing with his own issues.

Yet it's also consistent with bullying behavior experts argue is demonstrated in many ways.

If it is indeed fact as Incognito tweeted, that Martin indicated something that could be interpreted a person considering taking his life, you're accused of picking on that guy?

A best friend indeed.

Then there is the matter of the poor timing of this latest twist.

A report detailing the investigation led by attorney Ted Wells is expected to be released as soon as today.

Why have a Twitter rant now?

Just when Incognito needed to embody his family name and keep a low profile, he goes off.

He even posted the cellphone number of his attorney, Mark Schamel, while announcing the end of his rant; it came off like a jab at the person who might have told him to zip it in Twitterville.

Perhaps Incognito realizes the report — which stems from the alleged bullying that contributed to Martin bolting on the Miami Dolphins in October and resulted in Incognito's eight-game suspension — will cast him in such a negative light that he doesn't care to keep up his attempts to polish his reputation.

It struck me as something akin to the defiant brute going down in flames in his blaze of glory.

So sad.

Is the report finished?

If Wells thought his report was completed by Wednesday, it wasn't done yet. Not after the fresh material Incognito provided. It was a last-minute chapter that obviously needs to be weighed with the context of whatever else was discovered.

The idea some NFL team will add Incognito to its ranks can be dealt with in an ensuing epilogue.

Presumably, the report will answer questions beyond the Martin-Incognito relationship. I'm wondering:

Were coaches involved in encouraging the alleged bullying behavior?

Were other players involved and, if so, to what extent?

What was the level of engagement of since-fired general manager Jeff Ireland?

Were other Dolphins employees subjected to harassment or other unwarranted behavior?

Still, as Incognito's Twitter feed suggests, he was at the heart of the mess — or at least he felt that way, labeling himself as betrayed and railroaded.

For months, Incognito — who has had anger-management issues during a career spanning three NFL clubs and two college teams — has sought to change the narrative and cast himself as some sort of sympathetic figure. That process was enabled by teammates who have not voiced support for Martin and vehemently defended Incognito.

Even this week, Incognito tweeted support for Michael Sam, the Missouri defensive end who disclosed he is gay with the NFL draft approaching.

I never bought the sincerity of Incognito's image-repairing campaign — which included a TV interview on Fox shortly after Martin left the Dolphins. His contention that some of the crude language used with Martin was just part of banter between friends and NFL locker room culture was hardly consistent with the actions.

Add the notion a "friend" has suicidal thoughts to the mix, and it is further beyond reason.

Nor did Incognito's campaign explain some of the other reports that have surfaced, including an incident involving a female volunteer at a team charity event that resulted in a cash settlement.

More details about this whole saga — which meshes alleged bullying, workplace harassment, NFL culture, race and then some — will be revealed soon.

But Incognito has already told us much by his words and ill-advised actions.


February 13, 2014


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