Jonathan Martin finally broke his silence and addressed the media for the FIRST TIME since leaving the Miami Dolphins ... and says he plans to RETURN to the NFL as soon as possible.
Martin had a meeting in NYC with the special counsel hired by the NFL ... to talk about his treatment by Dolphins teammates, including Richie Incognito -- who's been suspended for allegedly bullying Martin.
The lawyer -- who also conducted the special investigation of the Syracuse University basketball team sexual harassment case -- will try to find out if some of the Dolphins' locker room antics crossed the legal line.
After the meeting, Martin read a statement ... saying he plans to resume his NFL career, though he didn't specify if he meant the Dolphins or another pro squad.
But there's a catch -- for Martin to return, a team has to want to sign him ... and after the way the Miami situation has played out, the ball might not be in his court.
I'm Not a Racist ...
Martin Isn't Even Mad at Me
11/10/2013 7:44 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Richie Incognito is playing the "everybody does it" card to explain why he hammered Jonathan Martin with threatening, racist, and violent language -- and further, he says it's just how he and Martin talk to each other.
In his first extensive interview, Incognito -- who's been suspended for his actions -- basically said players in NFL locker rooms, black and white, use the n-word freely.
Incognito admitted being "embarrassed" by the voicemail he left for his teammate ... where he called him a "half n**ga" -- and said he feels it's inappropriate for him to ever use that word. Strange ... since he's also saying he does it all the time.
As for bullying? Incognito told FOX NFL Insider Jay Glazer ... he didn't think this was a case of bullying ... and was more "an issue of mine and Jon's relationship, where I've taken stuff too far, and I didn't know it was hurting him."
Incognito also shared text messages he says his "best friend" Jonathan sent him after the controversy exploded. He claims Martin said ... "I don't blame you guys. I blame some stuff in the locker room. I blame the culture. I blame what was going on around me."
So, we gotta ask ...
... In Beverly Hills
11/10/2013 7:40 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
For that football dude Richie ... Incognito is more than just a name -- it's now a lifestyle.
Jay Glazer -- who interviewed the troubled NFL'er for FOX NFL Sunday's pre-game show -- tells TMZ Richie has not left his swanky hotel suite in Bev Hills since blowing into town Friday.
It's interesting ... Richie is not one to live on the downlow. If you have doubts about that check out the Ferrari he bought right after all the hazing stuff became public.
It seems Richie is feeling the heat or he's having a massive party in his room.
I'm Worried About Jonathan Martin
Tells FOX in First Interview
11/9/2013 4:50 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Richie Incognito calls Jonathan Martin his best friend on the Miami Dolphins -- and says he's worried about him ... even though Martin's allegations of hazing got Richie suspended ... TMZ has learned.
Incognito talked today for the first time about the scandal ... with FOX NFL insider Jay Glazer. Sources on the FOX set tell us Incognito wasn't exactly apologetic for his actions -- but instead expressed deep concern about Martin's health since he left the team.
We're told Incognito was willing to answer any and all questions about the controversy -- including alleged threats against Martin's family, and the infamous voicemail he left ... where he allegedly called Martin a "half n***a."
Pretty surprising for Incognito to refer to Martin as his "best friend" ... considering his accusations could ultimately ruin Incognito's NFL career.
The interview will air during tomorrow's FOX NFL Sunday pregame show.
It's unclear if Incognito addressed the video TMZ posted of him raging in a sports bar, yelling the n-word -- but we'd bet it came up.
Incognito flew to LA on Friday, and was extremely tight-lipped with reporters and the paparazzi. Now we know why.
Lands in L.A.
PR Offensive Underway
11/8/2013 2:49 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Richie Incognito just touched down in Los Angeles ... and it's pretty clear some crisis manager has given him a playbook for the weekend.
Our sources say Richie is headed for a swanky hotel in Beverly Hills ... obviously to work on fixing his tarnished image.
No word on how Incog plans to resurrect himself ... but typically when someone is looking to fix their image, L.A. is the first stop.
A local Miami station and some paps caught up with Richie when he landed ... but the NFL star wouldn't say much.
He also stopped at Starbucks when he got off the plane.
No word on if he ordered his coffee half black.
DROPS N-BOMB ON VIDEO
In Crazy Bar Rage
11/4/2013 5:30 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Miami Dolphins lineman Richie Incognito shouted the N-word ... in a shirtless rage ... during a crazy outing with teammates at a bar earlier this year -- and TMZ Sports has the footage.
The video was shot several months ago ... showing Richie running around Dirty Blondes -- a pool hall in Fort Lauderdale, FL.
As the video begins, Richie shouts, "Mike Pouncey, N**GA!!"
FYI -- Mike Pouncey is a member of the Dolphins and it looks like he's in the video. When Richie drops the N-bomb, it seems like he's announcing that Pouncey is in the bar.
In the footage, Incognito proceeds to stomp around the bar with his shirt off while patrons watch the lineman go berserk.
Incognito is under fire for allegedly harassing his teammate Jonathan Martin -- and calling him a "half-n**ger" in a voice mail.
Incognito has since been suspended by the team.
I FINALLY Got a Job!
9/7/2013 2:20 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Chad Johnson has made his triumphant return to the NFL ... to analyze fantasy football.
The ex-Ochocinco tweeted about the new gig where he will be working alongside a panel of fantasy football nerds to give his formerly expert opinion for CBS Sports starting tomorrow
The former Dolphin's receiver lost his position as a star player last year when he was arrested for head-butting his now ex-wife Evelyn Lozada.
No word on whether he slapped his lawyer's ass to celebrate the new job.
Severe NFL Violence
Dolphins' Incognito Won't Press Charges in
8/20/2013 10:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
11:20 AM PT Richie Incognito is a seriously forgiving dude ... telling us, "Football is an intense game. I've been there. Emotions run high. People lose their cool ... thank God no one got hurt."
No blood no foul in the case of the violent helmet swinging incident between Houston Texans Antonio Smith and Miami Dolphins Richie Incognito -- because Incognito is willing to let it slide ... TMZ has learned.
Sources close to the Dolphins offensive lineman tell us he has no plans to press criminal charges for the vicious altercation during Saturday's preseason game.
The video, first aired on FOX Sports 1, is ugly – while the players were grappling, Smith ripped off Incognito's helmet and swung it HARD right at his noggin.
We're told Incognito's totally fine, so at worst it was probably a grazing shot -- but considering NFL helmets weigh as much as 6 pounds of hard plastic -- Smith could've done some serious damage.
Houston police and the Harris County Sheriff tell us they would only take action against Smith ... if Incognito filed a complaint.
Smith's not off the hook with the NFL, which could suspend him. A league spokesman says the case is "under review.”
'72 Miami Dolphins Star
RIPS Richard Nixon
Tricky Dick Was an N-Word Droppin' Racist
8/20/2013 12:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Miami Dolphins legend Mercury Morris ain't a fan of the N-word -- as in, Nixon ... Richard Nixon.
The unofficial mouthpiece for the undefeated '72 Super Bowl champs arrived in D.C. this week ... and told TMZ he’s glad his victory trip to the White House is coming 40 years after the fact -- so he doesn't have to deal with a racist President like Tricky Dick.
FYI -- The Fins never got a chance to meet the POTUS after their undefeated season because the President was dealing with some issues of his own at the time ... issues that rhyme with shmatergate.
But today, members of the team have finally been invited to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. to get their long-awaited congratulatory handshake from the Commander In Chief ... and running back Mercury Morris is pumped.
The best part of the encounter -- we asked MM if he would rather meet Obama or Nixon, and he couldn't have been more clear ... telling us, "OH PLEASE MAN. Didn't you see the Nixon tapes? He may have called me a name man."
QUICK HISTORY LESSON -- "The Nixon Tapes” were explosive recordings in which R.N. could be heard referring to black people as ... well, do we really need to spell it out?
Of course, the '72 Fins aren't the only team to finish the regular season undefeated -- the 2007 Pats also accomplished the feat. But you won't see them at the White House anytime soon ... thanks to Eli Manning and one sticky helmet.
Mike Wallace's Homophobic Tweet
4/29/2013 1:45 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
Mike Wallace needs to learn how to RESPECT gay people ... so says the Miami Dolphins organization, which says it strongly condemns the comments made by their star receiver.
A rep for the NFL team tells TMZ ... the Dolphins took immediate action once they learned about Wallace's homophobic tweet, in which he condescendingly questions why Collins would want to "mess with other guys" when there are so many beautiful girls in the world.
The Dolphins tell us ..."Mike Wallace has apologized for his comments, and we have addressed the matter with him."
"Mike’s comments do not reflect the views of the Miami Dolphins. We believe in a culture of inclusiveness and respect, and any statements to the contrary are in no way acceptable to our organization."
"We will address the entire team about our policy of inclusion and make sure they all understand the importance of respecting individual choices.”
Wallace has since deleted the tweet.
TMZ spoke with a rep for the NFL, who tells us the league office will review the situation -- and decide if the player will be fined or suspended.
And The First Pro Athlete to Make a Homophobic Tweet Is ...
4/29/2013 11:30 AM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
... Miami Dolphins wide receiver Mike Wallace!!
Just HOURS after NBA player Jason Collins announced he's gay, 26-year-old Wallace took right to Twitter to provide the first ignorant comment.
“All these beautiful women in the world and guys wanna mess with other guys SMH (shakin' my head) …”
30 minutes later, Wallace deleted his tweet and replaced it with a half-assed explanation:
"Never said anything was right or wrong I just said I don't understand!! Deeply sorry for anyone that I offended."
Fun Fact -- Dolphins are one of the few animals that engage in gay sex!
Miami Dolphins Player
Arrested for Choking Taxi Driver
11/26/2012 9:50 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
Miami Dolphins safety Jonathon Amaya was arrested in Miami Beach early this morning ... after he allegedly choked out a cab driver.
According to the Miami Beach PD, 24-year-old Amaya -- 6'2", 185 lbs -- had given the cab driver $100 to take him outside the cab driver's usual area ... but during the ride, the NFL player got "aggressive."
The taxi driver told police he tried to kick Amaya out of the cab -- and even offered to return the $100 -- but Amaya refused. Instead, the cab driver claims, Amaya “leaned forward and wrapped his hands around his neck and started choking him."
When cops arrived to the scene, Amaya was still inside the cab. The driver told the responding officers, "This man is trying to kill me."
Cops say the cab driver did not have any visible injuries.
Amaya was eventually "escorted" out of the vehicle and arrested for battery just after 4AM.
FYI -- Amaya didn't record a single tackle in the Dolphins victory over the Seahawks on Sunday ... and only has 4 tackles on the year.
10:45 AM PT -- A rep for the Dolphins tells TMZ ... "We are aware of the situation and are in the process of gathering information.”
Bush "Chasing Chicken"
Adlib Was Bad Inside Joke
11/5/2012 8:00 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
We're told the entire cast and crew has always busted on JJ -- on and off air -- for his love of fried chicken ... and that's why TB called out Jimmy during his comment.
Terry Bradshaw made the biggest fumble in the NFL on Sunday when he compared Reggie Bush TD run to "chasing a bucket of chicken" -- but the jaw-dropping comment was intended to be an inside joke ... TMZ has learned.
Hall of Famer Bradshaw was describing Reggie's play during yesterday's halftime highlights show on FOX NFL Sunday -- when he spewed, "Look at this Jimmy, like he was chasing that bucket of chicken that the wind was blowing the other day."
Sources who were inside the FOX studio yesterday ... tell TMZ Terry was not trying to insult African-American Reggie -- but instead was taking a shot at fellow FOX analyst Jimmy Johnson.
So, we gotta ask ...