In Richie Incognito's first extended comments since being suspended indefinitely by the Miami Dolphins, the guard tried to explain the graphic and racial nature of the voice mail he left for teammate Jonathan Martin.
"I've taken stuff too far. I did not intend to hurt him," Incognito said in an interview with Jay Glazer of Fox Sports that aired Sunday.
"What I was going for ... I hadn't seen my buddy. I wanted to shock him. I wanted him to call me back. When the words are put out of context, I understand why a lot of eyebrows are raised. What people don't know is how Jon and I communicate to one another.
"A week before this went down, Jonathan Martin texted me, 'I will murder your whole (expletive) family.' Now did I think Jonathan Martin was going to murder my family? Not one bit. I know it was coming from a brother. I knew it was coming from a friend. I knew it was coming from a teammate. That puts in context how we communicate with one another."
The broadcast also showed text messages Martin sent to Incognito after Martin had left the team.
"Wassup man? The world's gone crazy lol I'm good tho congrats on the win," Martin wrote. "Yeah I'm good man. It's insane bro but just know I don't blame you guys at all it's just the culture around football and the locker room got to me a little."
Perhaps the most telling part of Glazer's sit-down interview with Incognito: The guard refused to answer a question about whether the Dolphins' coaching staff instructed him to "toughen up" Martin.
The NFL is investigating allegations of player misconduct by Incognito. Martin's representation submitted materials to the Dolphins, including a voice mail in which Incognito used a racial slur and threatened violence toward Martin. The team first heard the voice mail last Sunday; Incognito was suspended for conduct detrimental to the team shortly thereafter.
"This is an issue of my and John's relationship," Incognito said. "You can ask anybody in the Miami Dolphins locker room, 'Who had John Martin's back the absolute most?' And they will undoubtedly tell you me.
"All of this stuff coming out, just, it speaks to the culture of our locker room, it speaks to the culture of our closeness, it speaks to the culture of our brotherhood. And the racism, the bad words, um, you know, that's what I regret most, but that's a product of the environment, that's something that we use all the time."
Incognito denied being a racist.
"I'm not a racist. To judge me by that one word, is wrong," Incognito said of using the N-word, although he was apologetic and admitted using it was unacceptable. "It's thrown around a lot. It's a word I've heard Jon use a lot."
NFL Media's Albert Breer reported Saturday that Martin likely will meet with Ted Wells, an independent investigator, Thursday or Friday in Los Angeles.
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