In a press release Friday, it was announced that “retired” Buffalo Bills guard Richie Incognito would become the “first national ambassador” of Boo2Bullying, an anti-bullying 501(c)(3) not-for-profit. Per the group’s website, Boo2Bullying seeks “to eradicate bullying, intolerance and discrimination by educating schools and parents about accepting diversity and giving young people the tools to connect with and positively impact those around them.” They offer various mentoring and community outreach program to that effect.
In the press release, Incognito stated that he “can personally relate to it from both sides -- being bullied and being accused of being a bully.”
Continuing, he described a vignette from his childhood when he was the victim of a bully.
“A group of guys actually threw rocks at me,” Incognito said. “My dad told me not to worry and to focus on football. So I grinded, and at this point I was really starting to excel. After a few weeks of not letting it bother me, I actually became friends with the guys that bullied me. They are still my friends today, and anytime I go home now, I make sure we find some time to catch up. It just goes to show what can happen when you actually take the time to get to know someone, instead of treating them a certain way because they are different than you.”
Incognito of course was the primary target of the Miami Dolphins bullying scandal in 2013 and was found to have engaged in a “pattern of harassment” of fellow teammate, tackle Jonathan Martin. After being suspended for his conduct, Incognito was cut from the team and remained unemployed, and unemployable, until being signed by the Bills in 2015.
Supposedly retired this past offseason, Incognito is training in the hopes that a team will call on his services this offseason.