Bullying in the NFL?


With the recent case of bullying within the Miami Dolphins organizations has raised many questions. Starting OT for the Miami Dolphins Jonathan Martin, who was bullied by teammate and fellow offensive linemen Richie Incognito, left the team last week because of a non football illness. Apparently Incognito had been bullying Martin and Martin no longer felt comfortable with the organization.

Incognito has left a voice mail on Martin’s phone calling him a “half n—– piece of s—” and saying “[I’m going to] slap your real mother across the face [laughter]. F— you, you’re still a rookie. I’ll kill you.” This has no place in the world, no matter what type of environment, this absolutely should not be condoned.

People may ask, “Why didn’t Martin fight Incognito if it was getting so serious?”, Incognito has had a history of horrific behavior dating back to his college days. Incognito was voted the “Dirtiest Player” in the NFL in 2009 and has been known to cause fights in games and in practice. He also bench presses 600 pounds and has threatened to kill Martin. Now lets be honest would you have fought back? What makes the matters worse is that Incognito is a member of the Dolphins “Leadership Council”. This shows that other players view this guy as a LEADER and has no problems with him acting this way. Most of the Miami Dolphins players side with Incognito instead of Martin, which is even more confusing.  That means African-American players in that locker room have no problem with Incognito using a racial slur against a half black player. 

Hazing in football happens in high school through the pros, many know this. This is not a player hazing another, this is a RACIST BULLY taking advantage of someone. The coaches should have known that this was going on, they should know what the culture of the locker room is. Other players should have stepped in to stop this from happening or maybe everyone knew this was the culture of the locker room and therefore they did not feel the need to step in, remember Incognito is a member of the team’s “Leadership Council”. This issue will more than likely cause legal problems for Incognito since Martin’s parents both are attorneys and graduates from Harvard.

No doubt the Miami Dolphins organization needs better leadership and a culture change. The most important question is where do we draw the line between hazing and abuse?