By George Chen
A transcript containing more than 1,000 text messages reportedly exchanged between former Miami Dolphins offensive linemen Jonathan Martin ‘12 and Richie Incognito from October 2012 to November 2013 was published by The Big Lead on Monday, just a few days before the NFL plans to release its findings on the controversial bullying scandal surrounding the two ex-teammates.
Most of the reported conversations between Martin and Incognito revolved around parties, nightclubs and sex, but Martin — who returned to Stanford for winter quarter to finish his degree — also made multiple references to Stanford in his text messages to Incognito.
The first of these texts referencing Stanford came on Nov. 30, 2012, when in response to an explicit remark by Incognito regarding the small crowd at Pac-12 Championship Game between Stanford and UCLA, Martin texted Incognito “Stanford fans are weak…It’ll be full at game time [though].” Following that conversation, Martin bantered with Incognito about the 2013 Rose Bowl Game and then told Incognito in February that he was training at Stanford in the offseason.
The messages obtained by The Big Lead are reportedly from a league source, but Incognito’s attorney, Mark Schamel, also provided a transcript to CBS4 News in Miami last week.
The text message transcript is the latest development in the heavily debated bullying incident. Three months ago, ESPN reported that Incognito used racial slurs and profanity in his cellular communications with Martin on multiple occasions. Martin left the Dolphins to seek help in dealing with emotional issues, drawing criticisms from some NFL players for the way he handled the situation. He was placed on the non-football illness list on Nov. 30, while Dolphins owner Stephen Ross offered his public support for Martin and cut ties with Incognito.
But last week, Incognito’s attorney claimed that Martin’s texts to Incognito had been equally vulgar and derogatory, reigniting the debate surrounding the NFL’s locker room culture and bringing to question whether Martin had played a role in fueling the exchange of insulting epithets between the two players.
The NFL expects that its investigation will be completed this week.
Throughout the process, many of Martin’s former Stanford teammates and coaches, including David DeCastro ‘12, Andrew Luck ‘12, Coby Fleener ‘11, Zach Ertz ‘13 and head coach David Shaw, rallied around him. Martin was seen at a Stanford tailgate party before the USC game in mid-November and also watched the game from the Stanford sideline.
“We’re talking about something that, as more comes out, we’re finding out this is not just Jon being oversensitive,” Shaw told the San Jose Mercury News in early November. “This is Jonathan being the first person to speak about what’s been going on.”
A two-time All-American left tackle at Stanford, Martin was selected by the Dolphins in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft. Martin started at right tackle during the first 12 games of his rookie season before moving to left tackle at the start of the 2013 season.
Contact George Chen at gchen15 ‘at’ stanford.edu.