Is This the Last Straw for Richie Incognito?
For someone with the last name of Incognito, Richie isn’t doing a very good job of concealing himself from the spotlight as once again the guard has found himself in hot water with the law. News from the NFL says the former Pro Bowl player has been suspended for two games for violating the league’s personal code of conduct.
Before retiring from the sport, Richie Incognito still held the interest of several NFL teams. He’s been attempting to make a comeback this season. However, his future with the Oakland Raiders is being called into question. Now, he’s found himself on at least one list of the top ten NFL veterans that could be cut before the start of the 2019 season.
A diminishing future with the league is at stake. Some are wondering if this will be the last straw for him as he continues to struggle with personal problems off the playing field.
It was a sad day in many ways for the offensive lineman when he offended the staff at his father’s funeral service to such a degree it led to his arrest. USA Today revealed Incognito was booked into a Scottsdale, Arizona jail on misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct and making criminal threats.
According to police reports and comments from officers involved, while making arrangements at an Arizona mortuary, Incognito became “upset with staff and began to damage property inside the business and shout at employees.”
The incident escalated quickly as the lineman threatened bodily harm to workers at the funeral home saying he would shoot them with weapons from inside his vehicle.
Scottsdale Sergeant Ben Hoster stated there were “multiple guns” found inside Incognito’s ride and police described his behavior when they reported, “At several points during his contact with staff, Incognito threatened to retrieve guns from his vehicle and return to shoot the employees.” Following his arrest, the player was released on $20,000 bail and addressed the press about the ordeal when leaving the facility.
Incognito responded to a query from a reporter who asked what his deceased father would have thought about his behavior and he was quoted as saying, “I’m not sure he’s dead.”
Although there were no indications that drugs or alcohol were involved in the incident, it’s hard to believe a sober person would respond this way not to mention how inappropriate his remark was in light of the dark situation.
If past behaviors are current predictors of possible future misconduct, Incognito seems to be following a dangerous pattern. Back in February of 2014, ESPN revealed he was involved in a “pattern of harassment” with other players and staff while with the Miami Dolphins. According to a lengthy report released by an NFL investigator, the foul behavior included sexual taunts directed towards one of the victims’ female family members along with racial slurs.
Incognito denied the accusations when his attorney defended him in a statement saying the NFL’s investigative report was “replete with errors” and that the player in question “was never bullied by Richie Incognito or any member of the Dolphins’ offensive line.”
However, the investigation revealed Incognito kept a notebook about “breaking” yet another player. League officials were able to obtain the incriminating journal.
The NFL report noted an Asian assistant trainer was also the victim of racial slurs along with a gay athlete who was “subjected to homophobic name-calling and improper physical touching.” This kind of alleged behavior is simply unacceptable in any locker room regardless of the sport and whether the inappropriate comments were made personally or professionally is immaterial.
Even if Incognito cleans up his act off the field, he could remain in that position permanently, despite his skills as an offensive lineman. Bouncing around from team-to-team since 2006, this latest incident may add even more to a growing negative perception for the struggling guard. Because of his checkered past, it could even be the last chance for Incognito.