NFL: Incognito apologizes to Martin, team owner Ross


Dolphins offensive lineman Richie Incognito offered apologies to teammate Jonathan Martin, team owner Stephen Ross and investigator Ted Wells on Tuesday in the wake of the NFL-ordered report detailing a racially charged bullying scandal.

The report stated there was a “pattern of harassment” committed by Incognito and teammates John Jerry and Mike Pouncey that extended to two Dolphins linemen and an assistant trainer, all targets of vicious taunts and racist insults.

On his Twitter account, Incognito wrote, “I would like to send Jonathan my apologies as well. Until someone tells me different you are still my brother. No hard feelings :)”

He also apologized to Wells and Ross, saying “this (stuff) got cray, cray.”

“There are no winners in the courts,” he wrote. “Just families left to deal with their decisions and pick up the pieces. You can’t free something.”

Incognito, 30, had closed his Twitter account for two days, but returned Monday night with a noticeably different tone, apologizing for “acting like a big baby.”

The 6-foot-3, 319-pound lineman said he wants to play football again.

Incognito’s contract with the Dolphins is about the expire making him an unrestricted free agent who can sign with any team. Where he’ll end up remains to be seen.

It’s unclear if Incognito will face punishment from the NFL moving forward. League spokesman Greg Aiello told The Associated Press on Monday that the NFL will comment “at the appropriate time” on Wells’ report.

Incognito’s tweets have taken on a vastly different tone than they did less than a week ago when he went on a rant that quickly went viral, blasting Martin and his representative Ken Zuckerman.

“The truth is going to bury you and your entire camp. You could have told the truth the entire time,” Incognito tweeted last week.

Incognito also wrote at the time Martin had threatened to commit suicide and listed a suicide prevention hotline.

NFL reminds teams to mind questions

INDIANAPOLIS — NFL teams will spend this week’s annual scouting combine trying to get answers out of college prospects.

They will need to tread carefully.

A year ago, three players contended they were awkwardly asked about topics that seemed to reference sexual orientation. Two weeks ago, Missouri defensive end Michael Sam and NFL hopeful publicly announced he was gay.

Questions are sure to be a hot topic this week in Indianapolis.

“A lot of people want to know what the rules are and whether they’re different in the NFL, and they’re really not,” said Camille Olson, an attorney with the discrimination litigation practice group of Seyfarth Shaw. “It’s pretty clear, it’s black-letter law. An employer is not able to take into consideration for any employment purpose someone’s sexual orientation. If the answer is, ‘Locker rooms are different,’ you still can’t ask questions on that topic.”

The NFL has reiterated that point after college tight end Nick Kasa claimed that one team asked him if he “liked girls” during last year’s combine. Within a week, running back Le’Veon Bell and receiver Denard Robinson said they were asked similar questions. All three were drafted.

League officials responded with an investigation but found there was no violation of either federal or state laws or of NFL protocol.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told The Associated Press last week in an email that the league has sent a memo to all teams reminding them of those standards.

Marino, Sharpe out, Gonzalez in at CBS

NEW YORK — Longtime analysts Dan Marino and Shannon Sharpe will not return to CBS’ “The NFL Today” pregame show.

CBS chief Sean McManus said in a statement that “Dan and Shannon are true Hall of Famers on the field and in front of the camera. As they pursue other professional opportunities, we thank them for their hard work and dedication and wish them nothing but the best.”

Marino leaves after 13 seasons with CBS, while Sharpe joined for the 2004 season, giving him a decade on the show.

CBS says recently retired star tight end Tony Gonzalez will join the network as an analyst for “The NFL Today” as well as other programming.

Falcons wide receiver White arrested

ATLANTA — Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Roddy White has been arrested on a warrant charging him with failing to appear in court.

Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Deputy Shannon Volkodav confirms that White was booked into jail in suburban Atlanta early Tuesday. Officials say White was initially stopped for speeding and is free on bond.

A copy of the warrant says White failed to appear in court last March after he was cited for driving a vehicle with tinted windows that were too dark.

White was the Falcons’ first-round draft pick in 2005. He had 63 catches for 711 yards and three touchdowns last season.

By wire sources