‘Honorary’ Black Man Rich Incognito Gets Pass to Bully and Say N-Word

One of his Dolphins teammates says "being a brother is more than just about skin color." Sure.

Richie Incognito of the Miami Dolphins
Richie Incognito of the Miami Dolphins NFL via Getty Images

News broke earlier this week that Rich Incognito repeatedly bullied his Miami Dolphins teammate Jonathan Marthin at the behest of his coaches, in an attempt to help Martin “toughen up.

Now, an anonymous Dolphins teammate is defending Incognito’s actions—which include calling Martin a “half n—-r”—by saying that he’s an “honorary” black man. According to CBS Sports, “ ‘Richie is honarary,’ one player [said]. ‘I don’t expect you to understand because you’re not black. 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.’ “

Not sure what to make of this defense. Does Incognito get a pass for making racist comments because of this distinction? Or are his comments not racist because of this special invite from a subset group of The Blacks to join the delegation? Or is it that white Incognito must become black in order to act like a horrible person? So much to ponder.

The larger question, though, is this: What does it mean to be an honorary black person? What do you get to do? More importantly, is honorary white status a thing for which those of us who are actually black can apply? ESPN’s @BomaniJones illuminated on all of this: