The National Football League (NFL) is full of talented, hardworking, and caring individuals. Plenty of these men do great work for their communities, compete as hard as they can, and are kind and respectful to their teammates, opponents, referees, and fans. Unfortunately, these players don’t get the recognition they deserve.
Too often, the bad outshines the good and stories come out about troubling players rather than their compassionate peers. Sadly, this is one of those stories. It’s a story about a football player who is no stranger to controversy: Richie Incognito.
Without a doubt, Incognito is a great player. He’s been in the league for 11 years, making the Pro Bowl in four seasons. He plays hard and is as competitive as they come. But he can’t seem to stay out of trouble. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the Raiders’ new acquisition has just pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor charges stemming from an argument back in August. During the altercation, Incognito punched a hole in the wall, ripped out a security system control box, and was overcome by his anger. The person he was arguing with: his 90-year-old grandmother.
The maximum penalty for a misdemeanor charge is up to 1 year in county jail and fines of up to $2,500. Incognito pleaded guilty to charges of criminal damage and disorderly conduct. A domestic violence charge was dismissed as part of his plea agreement, in which he was ordered to take anger management courses, pay a $569 fine, and begin a year of unsupervised probation.
There are about 18 million organized meetings every year in the U.S. resulting in $280 billion in spending. Originally, Incognito was slated to make $3.7 million with the Buffalo Bills in 2018. The Raiders signed Incognito to a one-year deal in late May and immediately came under fire with questions and criticisms from media and fans.
According to Fox News, Oakland Raiders general manager Mike Mayock defended the signing of Incognito, who missed part of the 2013 NFL season and all of the 2014 season for the harassment of former teammate Jonathan Martin.
“At the end of the day, you can’t have all Boy Scouts,” Mayock said. “You have to do your homework on each individual case. We’ve done our homework. We’ve talked to an awful lot of people. We’ve talked to Richie. We’ve told Richie what we expect both on and off the field and we expect him to adhere to that.”
According to the CDC, there are approximately 37.2 million injury-related visits to the ER annually. Incognito, after struggling with plenty of physical injuries, was admitted to a psychiatric care center in 2018 after he allegedly threw weights and tennis balls at gym employees and a patron at a South Florida gym. He could still face a suspension from the NFL over the 2018 incidents, as well.