Manti Te’o is thrilled. Finally, a more bizarre story coming out of football than a Notre Dame star falling in love with a woman on the internet who he never met, who turned out to be a dude. I’m talking about the Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin controversy.
Suspended Miami Dolphins offensive lineman Richie Incognito now claims that his teammate Jonathan Martin actually sent him threatening text messages a week before the scandal broke. In fact, Incognito claims the two beefy lineman sent each other more than 1000 text messages. Some find many of the messages offensive. Incognito passionately claims that they were sent out of love. Even when Martin threatened to murder Icognito’s family, he claims, Martin was just joking, and filled with love.
Here’s what Martin is saying…nothing. His lawyer is doing a lot of talking, alleging a lot of things. We haven’t heard Martin utter one word.
So here’s my point. Let’s wait. We don’t know what Martin, himself, is alleging. Also, what I love about the First Amendment is that it affords us all wide latitude to speak freely. If Martin claims that he didn’t feel that Incognito’s messages and/or locker room behavior made him feel badly and that just like Incognito alleges, he felt brotherly love towards him, then aren’t many making a whole lot out of nothing?
Incognito’s use of the “n-word” is an entirely different issue. Even if Martin was o.k. with it, people are free to have strong feelings about whether the word should ever be uttered by a white man or anyone for that matter.
The main issue is how Matin felt. I will reserve judgment until I hear from him personally. As we’ve learned from so many high profile matters as well as from instances in our personal lives, it’s imperative that we not rush to judgment and speculate how Martin may have felt. Remember, when we point our finger at another, we have three fingers pointing back at us.