(Reuters) - The Miami Dolphins took swift action against Richie Incognito for allegedly harassing a female at the team’s golf tournament last year, coach Joe Philbin said on Saturday, as the storm around the controversial lineman continued to build.
Incognito, who has been suspended indefinitely by the Dolphins and is being investigated by the National Football League for allegations he bullied and threatened team mate Jonathan Martin, found himself in more trouble after Philbin confirmed the incident at the team charity event.
”“That incident occurred a year and a half ago. We were made of aware of the situation, we took immediate action,” Philbin told reporters without elaborating about what action was taken. “Any club action we took against any player would remain private.”
No charges were filed against Incognito after the incident but a police report was made.
Local television station WPLG reported the woman claimed Incognito had been drinking alcohol and acting inappropriately.
The woman reportedly notified her supervisor, who then informed team security about the incident. She claimed nothing was done about it.
The ugly controversy surrounding Incognito has pried open NFL dressing room doors, giving the world a glimpse at the sometimes disturbing locker room culture.
An ESPN.com poll of 72 NFL players this week found that most respondents would not want Incognito as a team mate.
Asked which of the two players, Incognito or Martin, they would rather have as a team mate, 15 respondents (20.8 percent) preferred Incognito, 34 (47.2 percent) indicated Martin and 23 (31.9 percent) wanted neither.
”In life, in football, in your professional life and in your personal life, within your families, a lot of times things happen,“ said Philbin in the session with reporters. ”Sometimes you have control. Sometimes you don’t have control. The big thing is how do you respond to those things?
”As I’ve said many times and I‘m going to say it again today, I believe in the guys we have in the locker room.
“We don’t get paid for distractions. We get paid to go out and perform. We have a big game on Monday night, and we are going to need to play extremely well.”
Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto, editing by Gene Cherry