Incognito files grievance against Dolphins
(SportsNetwork.com) - Richie Incognito has filed a non-football injury grievance against the Miami Dolphins for his "indefinite" suspension as a violation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
Under Article 43 of the CBA, the maximum a club is allowed to suspend a player for conduct detrimental is four weeks plus an additional game check.
Under the labor agreement, all non-injury grievances must be heard by a neutral arbitrator. Incognito has requested an expedited hearing.
"Richie Incognito filed a non-injury grievance against his employer, the Miami Dolphins, pursuant to his rights under the Collective Bargaining Agreement," the NFLPA said in a statement. "The grievance challenges his suspension for conduct which was alleged to have occurred while he was with the club. In the grievance, Incognito requests that the hearing be held on an expedited basis so that he can immediately resume playing for the team. The NFL Players Association will continue to protect the rights of all players."
Incognito was suspended on Nov. 3 following allegations of harassment and misconduct toward teammate Jonathan Martin, who left the team prior to its Week 9 win over Cincinnati.
The 30-year-old Incognito is accused of using a racial slur against Martin and threatening violence against him and his mother in a voicemail Martin turned over to the NFL.
Incognito denied bullying Martin during an interview with Fox Sports last Sunday.
"This is an issue of my and Jon's relationship," Incognito said. "You can ask anybody in the Miami Dolphins locker room, 'who had Jon Martin's back the absolute most?' and they will undoubtedly tell you me."
Incognito admitted that he may have been too harsh and regrets using racist language.
"All of this stuff coming out, just, it speaks to the culture of our locker room, it speaks to the culture of our closeness, it speaks to the culture of our brotherhood," Incognito said. "And the racism, the bad words, you know, that's what I regret most, but that's a product of the environment, that's something that we use all the time.
"It sounds terrible. It sounds like I'm a racist pig. It sounds like a lot things that it's not."
The Dolphins had been scheduled to meet with Martin on Wednesday but delayed the meeting at the NFL's request. Martin is scheduled to meet with Ted Wells, the NFL's independent investigator, on Friday in New York.
Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, in his first public comments on the matter, said Monday the team was "committed to getting to the bottom" of what led Martin to leave the team and to "making any necessary changes to improve our organization."
Wells was named last week by the NFL to lead an independent probe of workplace misconduct in the Dolphins organization.
11/14 19:36:56 ET