DAVIE (CBSMiami) – Out of all the elements in the Richie Incognito/Jonathan Martin/Miami Dolphins scandal that have percolated to the surface; Incognito’s use of a racial slur in a voicemail has amplified the story to national significance.

In a leaked transcript of a voicemail Incognito left for Martin he said:
“Hey, wassup, you half n—– piece of s—. I saw you on Twitter, you been training 10 weeks. [I want to] s— in your f—ing mouth. [I’m going to] slap your f—ing mouth. [I’m going to] slap your real mother across the face [laughter]. F— you, you’re still a rookie. I’ll kill you.”

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The NFL dealt with a separate incident of a white player using a racial slur earlier this year when Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper used one on video while he was at a concert. While he is still playing, many of his African-American teammates took issue with him using the n-word.

However, with the Incognito situation, almost all of his teammates, regardless of race, have rallied to his side.

“I don’t have a problem with Richie,” Mike Wallace told CBS4 news partner the Miami Herald. “I love Richie.”

“I don’t think Richie is a racist,” cornerback Brent Grimes said.

“Richie Incognito isn’t a racist,” tight end Michael Egnew said.

NFL Hall of Famer and ESPN analyst Cris Carter elaborated on the racial aspect further after talking with his former player, Dolphins center Mike Pouncey.

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“As far as Richie Incognito and how they feel about him…They don’t feel as though he is a racist. They don’t feel as if he picked on Jonathan repeatedly and bullied him,” Carter said. “They are very, very comfortable with Richie and think it’s very sad that not only is Jonathan is not on the football team but also that Richie is being depicted as a bigot and a racist.”

Carter continued, “They realize there is a Richie of the past and that he does have a dark side, but since he’s been a Dolphin…one of the hardest workers, one of the most respected in the locker room and they really feel that he’s not getting a fair defense in this; especially in depicting him as a flat-out racist.”

According to the Herald, the reason behind this is that Incognito was considered by his teammates to be “an honorary” black man. The Herald reported that Martin was considered less black than Incognito, even though Martin had parents of each race.

“Richie is honarary,” one player who left the Dolphins this offseason told the Herald’s Armando Salguero. “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.”

The Dolphins suspended Incognito for four games and his status with the team remains in question while the team and the NFL investigate Martin’s allegations. Incognito will lose almost $1 million in salary during the suspension.

A four game suspension is the maximum the collective bargaining agreement allows for conduct detrimental to a team.

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(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Miami Herald contributed to this report.)