NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- The Miami Dolphins have suspended offensive lineman Richie Incognito indefinitely amid a firestorm related to his treatment of teammate Jonathan Martin, who left the club last week.
There have been allegations of bullying and reports of threatening and racially-charged voicemails and text messages. In one message transcribed this week by ESPN, Incognito called the biracial Martin a "half n-----." TMZ later posted a video of Incognito throwing around racial slurs during a rant at a Florida pool hall.
But Incognito is receiving a pass for using the slurs -- at least from his teammates -- because he's considered "an honorary black man" in the Dolphins locker room, according to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald.
"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," Salguero wrote Wednesday. "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."
An unnamed player who was at Dolphins training camp told Salguero that Incognito's so-called "honorary" status stems from his background.
"I don't expect you to understand because you're not black," the player said. "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."
Martin, a second-year offensive tackle out of Stanford, is receiving counseling at home in Los Angeles as the bullying investigation continues.
As 1010 WINS' Al Jones reported, Dolphins Coach Joe Philbin sidestepped a barrage of questions on the scandal Wednesday.
Dolphins' Philbin Evades Questions About Incognito Scandal
"I've said all I can at this time as it relates to the NFL due process and I have no further comment," Philbin said.
Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill said he didn't see Incognito behaving abusively toward Martin.
"The first guy to stand up for Jonathan or do anything down on the field, or any kind of scuffle, Richard was the first guy there," he said.
Meanwhile, former New York Giants running back Tiki Barber said Tuesday on FOX News that the TMZ clip doesn't compare to a video showing Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper using racial slurs at a Kenny Chesney concert in July.
"It was certainly alcohol-fueled, and the use of the N-word, while never acceptable, I don't want to say it's understandable, but it's used," Barber told host Bill O'Reilly. "This wasn't used in hate, this wasn't the Riley Cooper situation over the summer."
A report in the South Florida Sun Sentinel on Tuesday said Dolphins coaches asked Incognito to "toughen up" Martin after the offensive lineman skipped two days of voluntary workouts.
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