It's beginning to look like Richie Incognito's use of racial slurs was habitual. Warren Sapp, the former Miami Hurricanes great, faced Incognito only once in his NFL career but says that during that game, Incognito called him the N-word while on the field.
Sapp, however, didn't seem particularly offended by it, but adds he would have been if the incident had happened off the field.
Sapp recalled the incident on The Dan Patrick Show this morning.
"One time he kicks me in a game and calls me the N-word," Sapp said. "I looked at him and said, 'Oh, you want me to punch you in the mouth so they kick me out of the game?'
"I looked at him and said, 'Really? That's all you got?'" Sapp continued.
Patrick asked Sapp to clarify about a white man using the term, and Sapp said he understands it was a cheap insult used in a football game but would be offended if it was used in the locker room.
"He only wants to get me kicked out. He don't want to fight. Because the only thing he got to do is call me after the football game, just come over to the locker room and say it after the game. Now we've got a real situation."
Incognito's repeated use of the word (including a videotape that is now circulating of him using it at a Fort Lauderdale bar) has added a racial tinge to the bullying controversy.
The Miami Herald carried an odd report sourced from anonymous Dolphins players:
Well, I've spoken to multiple people today about this and the explanation from all of them is that in the Dolphins locker room, Richie Incognito was considered a black guy. He was accepted by the black players. He was an honorary black man.
And Jonathan Martin, who is bi-racial, was not. Indeed, Martin was considered less black than Incognito.
"Richie is honarary," one player who left the Dolphins this offseason told me today. "I don't expect you to understand because you're not black. But being a black guy, being a brother is more than just about skin color. It's about how you carry yourself. How you play. Where you come from. What you've experienced. A lot of things."
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We're not sure that racial theory extends much further outside NFL locker rooms, but clearly Incognito was that dopey white guy who thought he had a hood pass because he had black friends.
Chris Rock might have the best take on this subject.