One of the most controversial moves any team made this offseason was the Raiders adding offensive guard Richie Incognito. Incognito has a long history of making some pretty bad headlines and the most recent one was is 2018. Due to the 2018 incident surrounding an altercation at a funeral home, Incognito will be suspended for the first two weeks of the regular season. After a really poor year protecting the quarterback, the Raiders are hoping that Incognito can help lock down the left side of the offensive line. He certainly has the talent to do it, but time will tell if he can stay out of trouble. He has had a few very public controversies throughout his career and according to a new report, he hasn’t seemed to have learned from any of them.
Follow the Heavy Oakland Raiders page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!
Raiders’ Richie Incognito Suspension Brings Old Drama to Light
Richie Incognito spent the last few years as a member of the Buffalo Bills. He’s also spent time with the Rams and Dolphins. While he was in Miami, he was part of an infamous bullying scandal involving a young player named Jonathan Martin. This led to Incognito getting a lengthy suspension and being jettisoned from Miami. According to Tim Graham, who used to cover the Bills for The Buffalo News and now reports for The Athletic, Incognito didn’t learn much from his time in Miami:
“Richie Incognito was a member of the Buffalo Bills and a very popular member of the Buffalo Bills, at the time especially. People, if I say these things I’m about to say, would probably say ‘what would there be to gain for me to have said these things?’ This is a guy who really believed that he didn’t do anything wrong with Jonathan Martin. In his mind, I can get to a place where I kind of agree with that. In Richie Incognito’s mind, everything is like a roast like you see on Comedy Central. It’s like no holds barred. Even after everything that happened with the Dolphins and Jonathan Martin, the NFL investigation and everything, the things that he would say in the locker room, reporters would look at each other like ‘does this guy not learn?’ Different profanities, using homophobic language, this, that…”
An NFL locker room is obviously not a bastion of political correctness, but what’s most concerning is Incognito’s willingness to say offensive things in front of media members. Reports like this should definitely worry the Raiders. HBO and Hard Knocks are going to be in Napa to film the team during training camp, so it’s hard to imagine worse optics than Incognito saying something offensive in front of the cameras. He’ll have to be on his best behavior if he’s going to make the opening day roster. The Raiders will need to keep a really short leash on him and cut ties if there’s even a whiff of controversial behavior.
Incognito is certainly a player that would’ve thrived in a different era. Things that he does and says wouldn’t have been news 30 years ago, but with social media the way it is, it’s hard for him to get away with egregious behavior. Incognito is an incredible talent on the field, but the Raiders shouldn’t excuse abusive behavior from him because that could erode lock room chemistry very fast.