Because we don't work out with Richie Incognito, we weren't able to land him for an interview. So we did the next best thing: We spoke with 17-year-old Richie Incognito, a student from Varese, Italy, and asked him his feelings on the Dolphins imbroglio.
All replies translated from Italian:
Hi, Richie. So, your name is Richard Incognito and you're from Italy. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I'm a high school student in Varese studying mechanical engineering. My dream is to one day enter the world of professional motorcycling. My favorite dish is carbonara, I'm literally crazy about it, and I can easily eat three big dishes in a row. My motto is, "NOTHING IS REAL, EVERYTHING IS ALLOWED!"
Another Richie Incognito is making headlines here in the U.S. for accusations of harassment towards his teammate, Jonathan Martin.
As far as I'm concerned, they're both overgrown children. Richard Incognito is a monster who needs his daddy, and Jonathan Martin is a toddler who needs his mommy.
If you were NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, how would you handle the situation?
I'd give Incognito a light prison sentence, and I'd give Martin his bottle.
Do you sympathize with Jonathan Martin in any way?
I live in Italy. Some of us have been called a half-breed, the rest of us have called someone a half-breed. Jonathan should be thankful that he lives in the United States. He should come to Italy to play football. Then he will have something to whine about. Americans are very sweet and respectful towards their athletes. In Europe, when we say that we are going to kill your whole fucking family, it is very clear. It means that we are going to kill your whole fucking family.
Did you find it interesting–or maybe even insulting–that when Martin finally snapped during a meal with his teammates, the food he threw down to the ground was spaghetti?
I would be more concerned that Jonathan wasted proper food when so many people around the world are hungry. But I can't be too mad at him, because those were probably the only scraps of food he's ever thrown away in his life. (This is a joke. I have to make it clear because I don't want Jonathan to file a report.)
Are you mad at Incognito for dragging your name into this mess?
Richard Incognito said that he would apologize to Martin. He said that he would like to hug him. I saw the interview. Now I have to ask, "Where is my apology?" He has destroyed his name, he has destroyed my name, he has destroyed our name. What about all of the Richard Incognito's who are yet to be born? He has given them an unspeakable burden. Richard Incognito said he has a hug to give. Where is my hug? I have been offended, too.
What do you think of this picture of Incognito as a child?
This is unfortunate. I thought he needed counseling and discipline. It seems he just needs to meet a woman who will love him. I also think he should buy a dog. Yes, this is the solution: Richard needs a woman, and he also needs a dog. These are simple facts.
Who is your favorite NFL player?
I like Calvin Johnson.
What do you make of the fact that Martin played Incognito's voicemails for their teammates to hear?
Jonathan is an educated man. He is a big baby, but he also does not understand how to deal with name-calling. My guess is that he was looking for help. He played that tape, probably with a smile on his face, so someone could intervene. Could he have handled it within the sports family? Yes. Could he have had a thicker skin? Yes. Could Richard not have called him a nigger? I hope so. What's truly sad is that everyone is making this into an international story. The bigger story–bigger than race and bullying–is the reported sexual harassment and assault of a woman on a golf course. Everyone is upset about name-calling, but put your hands on a woman, degrade her and humiliate her, and no one seems to care.
You seem to sympathize with both men, but you're also critical of them at the same time.
There is this idea in America and in Italy that says, "If you stand up to a bully, the teasing will go away." Nonsense. Maybe that's how it happens on television, but in real life, the bully will take your teeth out. All bullies are cowards? Nonsense. The act of bullying is cowardice, yes. But it doesn't mean they get smaller when you decide to fight them. Often, fighting back makes them more bold, so if you punch them, they will light your brother's face on fire. I have seen this happen, and more than once.
What advice would you give to a young child being bullied?
If a bear attacks you, do you fight back, or play dead? You play dead. I think you should let the bully have his fun, then hope he moves on to weaker prey.