Rookie hazing & bullying: Miami guard Incognito indefinitely suspended

soxfan121

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teddykgb said:
I think it's entirely possible to think that sf121's post was magnificent and largely irrelevant.  I echo the sentiments of others that I would hope to show it and teach it to my own children someday.  But I think it's very dangerous to project our own experiences onto these individuals, especially at their current ages.  Child bullying is a really, really immense social problem that is becoming worse by the day.  I understand the desire to want to use this as an entry point to that discussion, but I think you have to recognize and acknowledge the gulf of difference between any of our experiences and what a current NFL player has gone through and experiences today.  These are not normal people, and they're not surrounded by normal people.  They're not in an average workplace, not by a long shot, and there are very different social dynamics at play.  Even the probable absurdity that a white guy can be "honorary black" or something as ridiculous sounding as that.  Most/many of these players come from extremely rough pasts and then are treated like Kings as their talent emerges.  Travel, camps, college.....it changes them and their experiences, imo, diverge them from the general population.  
 
This was an outstanding post and I've truncated it to respond but the whole thing was worth reading. Thanks for participating and adding your perspective. To have a discussion, there needs to be a honest, open exchange of ideas and I hope you will encourage others to bring theirs to the table. 
 
FWIW, I also think my post(s) yesterday about my experiences as a bully and being bullied are mostly irrelevant to this situation. I shared them in response to a particular post that made this about "laundry" and did so in an effort to explain that my interest, and opinion, was not motivated by my rooting interest on Sundays. And specifically, in response to a poster who I've had specific issues with about rooting interest (and his perception that I was trolling Dolphins fans) back in the offseason. I got off on a bit of a rant, and frankly, I'm a bit embarrassed that it turned into what it did. I certainly appreciate that people found value in the post(s) and am genuinely touched that people think enough of it to share with their children/sons in the future, but I would have been happier had the praise gone to Backwash and stayed there. 
 
Because I do think bullying is an important discussion item. And I truly believe that the discussions that we can have here on this site are important because we can all learn things and use them to grow.
 
As to your point - I think you're correct about the way things are different and I think you're wrong to suggest that because it is different that it cannot be questioned, understood or changed. I think it must be changed. This is not the way things are in a hockey, basketball, soccer or baseball locker room. I think it is time to challenge the assumption that because it is this way, it must STAY this way. As I said earlier, this culture filters down through the ranks of college, high school and into youth football. And that's where it is dangerous because the bullying problem at those levels is so much more harmful and pervasive. There have undoubtedly been others like Martin, who are fundamentally unsuited to thrive in the NFL locker room culture. But I happen to think that there are more Martin's in the world than there are Incognito's. And let's not forget Reverend's outstanding post yesterday about how Incognito is also a victim of this culture and this construction of "manliness". 
 
Again, thanks for getting in the conversation and I look forward to more discussion about how and why this is or is not something to change.
 

MDJ

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teddykgb said:
 
Fwiw, and it isn't worth much, I agree with you.  It's sort of surreal to see people sort of bullying others while decrying the act of bullying.  I largely stayed out of this thread when you started posting and getting push back because it seemed like opinions on this weren't welcome here unless you were trying to prove that you were somehow more offended than the last poster by what has gone on here.
 
 
Disagreeing with someone on an internet message board isn't bullying.  Even if every poster on SOSH commented in this thread telling sodenj5 that they think he's wrong, and even if some of them insulted him, it's still not bullying. 
 
Social media can be used as a tool to bully someone, but simply stating "you're wrong," or "I disagree," or even "you're a JACKASS!" isn't bullying.  
 

Billy Jo Robidoux

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Yesterday on Felger and Mazz, Mark Bertrand made perhaps the best statement on the Dolphins situation -- the biggest disappointment is that this is not happening to the Jets.
 

Average Reds

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dcmissle said:
 
I have no dog in this fight (sorry, Mike Vick)  and am pushing nothing.  I'd only like all the facts to come out, and  with Ted Wells spearheading the investigation, I'm fairly confident they will.
 
I am amused, however, by the great upset on the part of some who are pissed that the Dolphins are not muzzling their players.  Let's put aside the facts that this is a non-starter for at least a couple of reasons:  (i) the team and League have no authority to fine players for talking about this; (ii) the Dolphins players apparently feel so strongly about it, that anyone in management who attempts to bludgeon them into silence might run a great risk of losing the team.
 
Usually, the reflexive reaction here would be contra a team bludgeoning its players into silence.  So could it be in this instance that people simply don't like what the players are saying, and that the facts they are imparting are effing with the preferred, clean cut narrative? 
 
As a Pats fan, I am sympathetic to a team attempting to play a season in the midst of a media rush to judgment and feeding frenzy, in which a lot of the information disclosed turns out later to be incomplete, and in some important instances flat out wrong.
 
I'm unaware of anything I've posted that is critical of the Dolphins for not muzzling it's players.  And while it's possible that I've skimmed the posts that have dealt with the issues and not really understood what people are saying, the general sense I have gotten from this is not that people are suggesting that the Dolphins should muzzle their players - it's that they are astounded that the organization hasn't taken a more aggressive approach to it, because the statements they are making are not really helping the club.
 
If there is any ambiguity, let me state plainly that while it is clearly in the interests of the Dolphins to control the information, my strong preference would be to know as much as I possibly can unfiltered.  With that said, let me also state that this issue has nothing to do with the question I raised, so I'm a little confused to be talking about it.
 
I am still trying to understand how condemning Incognito for behavior we know about is a rush to judgment while suggesting that Martin might be trying to shake down the team is not.  I feel very strongly (and I've posted as much) that however this ends up shaking out, it's not going to be good for the Dolphins organization.  Because the one thing we know is that Incognito acted in ways that the Dolphins now consider to be unacceptable.  Whether the responsibility for those actions lies primarily with Incognito or the Dolphins is unknown, but the outcome will not be favorable to the Dolphins. 
 
If people feel that this entire thing was a takedown of the organization orchestrated by Martin, they should give their rationale rather than passing along "observations" and/or insinuations about Martin's (lack of) toughness or character.
 

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Soxfan121, as many other have said, thanks for the heartfelt and striking posts!  You're a thoughtful poster in the different forums and reading your deepest feelings last night was touching.
 

SendEmHomeKim

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The reaction to this situation feels a lot like the reaction to Mike Vick's dogfighting crimes. People are understandably outraged by the (in this case alleged) acts, and in their outrage may not be able to let the complexities, the cultural relativity, fully soak in. We cheer them on Sunday and then go on with our lives, expecting them to do the same without recognizing the psycological trauma that many of these men endure along the path to the colosseum.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Reverend said:
But that's the problem: if information can be both consistent with there having been bullying or there not having been bullying, then it's a bit mindless to assume it's evidence of not bullying. It is that callous assumption to take it as evidence of not bullying rather than engaging a broader understanding to see how it could also be part and parcel of a cultural problem that allows or even encourages bullying that I think many of us found so off-putting. It wasn't that you didn't want to rush judgment, but it's that your ostensible pleas not to rush to judgment were made in ways that encouraged an inhibiting of the sorts of investigations that judgment should be premised on. In this vein, I would point you to the first response you made in this thread--the first response to the opening post in fact--and look at how your first reaction was play arm-chair psychologist on Martin in purely speculative fashion.
Isn't the converse also true? This is my first post in the thread but my impression from reading it at various points in the last few days is a significant rush to judgement based on fairly limited information and then sodenj defensively perhaps going a little overboard in the other direction. There were tons of people essentially saying "cased closed" based on a partial voice mail transcript that had zero context and then scoffing at or simply dismissing the comments of the Dolphins players that seemed to muddy the waters somewhat.

I'm also not sure that its all that useful to see bullying as a dichotomy (either bullying existed or it did not exist). I see a wide range of possibilities, from relatively minor shit giving to major levels of horrific abuse. Where we are on that scale seems uncompletely known but, to me at least, also seems to matter a great deal in terms of how we judge the various parties involved. Because, at the risk of being killed on here for condoning bullying (to which I'm definitely opposed), I'm not willing to say that anything that registers on that scale is bullying or merits extreme sanctions, especially when dealing with grown men (as opposed to 12-year-olds).
 

GregHarris

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rodderick said:
I agree it's dumb, but I don't think there's a position to empathize with. He's merely relating what he saw, unless you believe he's lying about everything else to protect Incognito, which, frankly, I don't think is the case.

If I read it correctly not wanting to pay for the dinner was just an early sign that Martin wasn't "one of the guys", but it wasn't definitive. Apparently, his distant behavior got the attention of coaches too. Obviously, that doesn't justify being called names and being threatened, but at this point I think it's hard not to believe Martin was an outsider in that lockerroom, for whatever reason that may be. This is more of a discussion about NFL culture than an Incognito vs. Martin thing. Why is it that an introverted guy has to be immediately singled out by his peers? There are a shitton of weird/quiet/exotic personalities in baseball, for instance, and you never hear about this kind of shit happening.
 
I dunno, it seems to me that not wanting to foot a 9k bill shouldn't cause a person to be branded as an outcast.  Maybe what I am looking for is a better example of this poor team behavior. 
 
But I agree...
Right now, from my chair in my office, all this looks like is a bunch of men who feel that this guy doesn't act like they do (as bullies, or tough guys) and he needs to in order to make it in the league.  He is different and they don't like it so they are going to try to make him conform the only way they know how.
 

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sodenj5 said:
But when an entire team, a team that spends countless hours around both Martin and Incognito, rally behind Incognito, shouldn't that say something? Maybe they aren't "closing ranks" around him. Maybe they're standing up for him because they know what's been transpiring behind the scenes.
 
Maybe it speaks to a macho, hyper-masculine culture of that team, locker room -and the NFL to a larger extent. One that condones mobthink, bullying, hazing, and such "sins" as snitching.  
 
So of course they are aligned in their responses to a man in defense of RI. If everyone is inside that same bubble then they are breathing the same potentially toxic air, drinking the same tainted Kool Aid. 
 
And based on 99.9% of your pushback and posts in here - you're in that bubble too.
 
I wish I could get past your allegiance to your laundry, but I'm having difficulty doing so with each successive "defense" you post. 
 

GregHarris

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I don't know how anyone can defend the way the Dolphins Football Club is handling this.  Yeah I am a Pats ball washer, but it's situations like this that the Patriots shine as an organization - total team lockdown - all future correspondence on the topic comes from either Stacey James or Jonathan Kraft - everyone is generally on the same page.
 
Right now you have dozens of Miami players and coaches going off with confusing and oft conflicting statements, with a circle the wagons theme.  It seems they were totally unprepared to deal with this, and have very little damage control.  It's pretty bad right now, and I'd be shocked if heads didn't roll.  The fact that the team is "rally[ing] behind Incognito" has more to say about how poorly the club is handling this rather than some sign of unity.
 

Judge Mental13

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The team spoke to the media yesterday in the locker room.  Several players pointed out how Martin and Incognito were very tight right up until they weren't, and how Martin had played the voicemail for the team and they all laughed about it.  The quotes are everywhere today, Martin and Richie sat together on team planes, they went out partying together, and Richie was the first to have Martin's back in practice or in games when someone fucked with him.
 
It's possible that the entire team is deciding to buckle down and slander Martin since he, in their mind, tattled to the press about Richie harassing him, but I'm not sure I buy that all these players would stick to the same story citing multiple examples of Richie and Martin being BFFs up until Martin was in danger of losing his job. 
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Maybe this has already been linked, but former Dolphins offensive lineman Lydon Murtha has a long take on the situation posted in the MMQB section of si.com.  He has known Incognito for a long time (going back to Nebraska) so who knows about his impartiality, although he says that he's just interested in telling the truth and clearing up misconceptions.  Some relevant portions below:
 
 
From the beginning, when he was drafted in April 2012, Martin did not seem to want to be one of the group. He came off as standoffish and shy to the rest of the offensive linemen. He couldn’t look anyone in the eye, which was puzzling for a football player at this level on a team full of grown-ass men. We all asked the same question: Why won’t he be open with us? What’s with the wall being put up? I never really figured it out. He did something I’d never seen before by balking at the idea of paying for a rookie dinner, which is a meal for a position group paid for by rookies. (For example, I paid $9,600 for one my rookie year.) I don’t know if Martin ever ended up paying for one, as I was cut before seeing the outcome.
 
 
Richie has been more kind to Martin than any other player.
 
In other situations, when Martin wasn’t showing effort, Richie would give him a lot of crap. He was a leader on the team, and he would get in your face if you were unprepared or playing poorly. The crap he would give Martin was no more than he gave anyone else, including me. Other players said the same things Incognito said to Martin, so you’d need to suspend the whole team if you suspend Incognito.
 
 
Which brings me to my first point: I don’t believe Richie Incognito bullied Jonathan Martin. I never saw Martin singled out, excluded from anything, or treated any differently than the rest of us.
 
 
Every year, as tradition, the offensive line goes on a big Vegas trip. Everything is paid for in advance, from hotels to a private jet to show tickets. Martin originally verbally committed to the trip, then later backed out after everything was booked. Now, if you can’t go because of an emergency then it’s okay, but to say you’re going and then decide you don’t want to spend the money later? Everything was paid for, and then when it was time to pay up he didn’t want to go anymore.
 
 
The silliest part of this story, to me, is the incident at the cafeteria, in which Martin was supposed to have been hazed when everyone got up from their seats as he sat down. Whoever leaked that story failed to share that getting up from a packed lunch table when one lineman sits down is a running gag that has been around for years.
 
 
Incognito was made a scapegoat for the hell coming down on the Dolphins organization, which in turn said it knew nothing about any so-called hazing. That’s the most outlandish lie of this whole thing. The coaches know everything. The coaches know who’s getting picked on and in many cases call for that player to be singled out. Any type of denial on that side is ridiculous. I have friends on more than a dozen teams, and it’s the same everywhere.
 

dcmissle

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Average Reds said:
 
I'm unaware of anything I've posted that is critical of the Dolphins for not muzzling it's players.  And while it's possible that I've skimmed the posts that have dealt with the issues and not really understood what people are saying, the general sense I have gotten from this is not that people are suggesting that the Dolphins should muzzle their players - it's that they are astounded that the organization hasn't taken a more aggressive approach to it, because the statements they are making are not really helping the club.
 
If there is any ambiguity, let me state plainly that while it is clearly in the interests of the Dolphins to control the information, my strong preference would be to know as much as I possibly can unfiltered.  With that said, let me also state that this issue has nothing to do with the question I raised, so I'm a little confused to be talking about it.
 
I am still trying to understand how condemning Incognito for behavior we know about is a rush to judgment while suggesting that Martin might be trying to shake down the team is not.  I feel very strongly (and I've posted as much) that however this ends up shaking out, it's not going to be good for the Dolphins organization.  Because the one thing we know is that Incognito acted in ways that the Dolphins now consider to be unacceptable.  Whether the responsibility for those actions lies primarily with Incognito or the Dolphins is unknown, but the outcome will not be favorable to the Dolphins. 
 
If people feel that this entire thing was a takedown of the organization orchestrated by Martin, they should give their rationale rather than passing along "observations" and/or insinuations about Martin's (lack of) toughness or character.
 
 
You have not posted along these lines; others have.
 
I also am not suggesting that it is not possible to form tentative judgments.  For example, during Spygate once it was revealed that the Pats had received written warning not to do something and did it anyway -- and then followed up with a rationalization that could only make Bill Clinton smile and shake his head in wonder -- I knew we were in trouble.  The loss of a 1st round pick followed.  In this case, it seems to me that Ireland either suggested to Martin's agent that Martin punch RI, or he didn't.  If Ireland made that suggestion, I can conceive of no defense for it.
 
Intuitively, I think this case is going to mirror the Saints' bounty problem, and that concerns me because that was horribly handled by the League.  On the other hand, as indicated above, Wells is a very good lawyer, who also happens to be AA, which can only be a plus in these circumstances.
 
To dispel any doubt about my views on this, I'm ok with rookies carrying should pads, singing songs in training camp and buying sandwiches for teammates.  That's where I'd draw a thick red line.  No extortionate dinners or gifts.  No taping people to goal posts.  No continual harrassment in any form.  If coaches want to toughen people, do it during OTAs, in camp and during practice -- on the field.  If players can't handle it and fall out, so be it; if they grow tougher, great.  Teammates should build each other up, not tear each other down.
 

sodenj5

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Judge Mental13 said:
The team spoke to the media yesterday in the locker room.  Several players pointed out how Martin and Incognito were very tight right up until they weren't, and how Martin had played the voicemail for the team and they all laughed about it.  The quotes are everywhere today, Martin and Richie sat together on team planes, they went out partying together, and Richie was the first to have Martin's back in practice or in games when someone fucked with him.
 
It's possible that the entire team is deciding to buckle down and slander Martin since he, in their mind, tattled to the press about Richie harassing him, but I'm not sure I buy that all these players would stick to the same story citing multiple examples of Richie and Martin being BFFs up until Martin was in danger of losing his job. 
Careful. Those are some dangerous waters you're wading into.

Most believe it's the hyper macho culture of the NFL banding around one of "their guys" and shunning the guy they feel turned on them. It can't be that they're all actually telling the truth.
 

JimBoSox9

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sodenj5 said:
Careful. Those are some dangerous waters you're wading into.

Most believe it's the hyper macho culture of the NFL banding around one of "their guys" and shunning the guy they feel turned on them. It can't be that they're all actually telling the truth.
 
Why does it have to be either?  The crux of this entire situation is that you have a set of social norms and behaviors in this environment that different people with different backgrounds can look at and see different 'truths'.  I agree it's highly probable that all those players lining up to defend Incognito are indeed telling the truth as they see it.  But unless we start going down the path of Martin being basically untruthful about his emotional distress (which you need real hard evidence to fairly do, I think), what they are saying is extraordinarily hard to accept as an objective truth.  I wonder in particular what truth an impartial fly on the wall would have seen in the scene of Martin playing the voicemail for his teammates so they could all have a good laugh.
 

sodenj5

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JimBoSox9 said:
 
Why does it have to be either?  The crux of this entire situation is that you have a set of social norms and behaviors in this environment that different people with different backgrounds can look at and see different 'truths'.  I agree it's highly probable that all those players lining up to defend Incognito are indeed telling the truth as they see it.  But unless we start going down the path of Martin being basically untruthful about his emotional distress (which you need real hard evidence to fairly do, I think), what they are saying is extraordinarily hard to accept as an objective truth.  I wonder in particular what truth an impartial fly on the wall would have seen in the scene of Martin playing the voicemail for his teammates so they could all have a good laugh.
I agree that it doesn't have to be one or the other. People, myself included, are painting everything in this thread black and white, but you make a very valid point.

The atmosphere and culture in an NFL locker room is very different than that of any other workplace. While what was seen by teammates as friendly by Incognito, and may have very well been good intentioned, may be seen by others from an outsider's perspective as something inappropriate or even bullying.

Where does one draw the line though? How far is too far, and how do you know if you've gone too far if you've never heard anything from the other person?

I think where Incognito ultimately went wrong is that his style of "big brother tough love" that has clearly endeared him to most of his teammates did not sit well or work for Jonathan Martin.
 

Average Reds

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sodenj5 said:
Careful. Those are some dangerous waters you're wading into.

Most believe it's the hyper macho culture of the NFL banding around one of "their guys" and shunning the guy they feel turned on them. It can't be that they're all actually telling the truth.
 
I think it's counter-productive for you to make mocking posts that will simply provoke people.  But I will try and respond with as much civility as possible.
 
Let's assume they all believe what they are saying.  (It's very far-fetched to think otherwise.)  Does that make it the truth?  Or does it make it their perception of the relationship between the two players, which is why they are so shocked at what they are hearing?  And does that perception change the narrative with respect to what we are seeing play out?
 
My answers are as follows:
  • Their perception of the relationship does not mean that Incognito and Martin were friends.
  • Their shock at what they are now hearing lends credibility to the fact that there may be more nuance to the situation than the media wants to appreciate.  It does not argue that that it did not happen.
  • Their perception also implies that a combination of the macho culture of the NFL, the inattentiveness of the front office to the dynamics at play and the inability of Philbin/Ireland to realize what they had on their hands has destroyed the careers of two players.
Nothing in the opinions of the players would argue that Martin is making this up.  Just that they cannot understand how the actions of Incognito (that they are aware of) would lead to this sort of response. 
 
Now it's your turn.  If we take the player statements at face value, what does it change for you?
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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JimBoSox9 said:
 
Why does it have to be either?  The crux of this entire situation is that you have a set of social norms and behaviors in this environment that different people with different backgrounds can look at and see different 'truths'.  I agree it's highly probable that all those players lining up to defend Incognito are indeed telling the truth as they see it.  But unless we start going down the path of Martin being basically untruthful about his emotional distress (which you need real hard evidence to fairly do, I think), what they are saying is extraordinarily hard to accept as an objective truth.  I wonder in particular what truth an impartial fly on the wall would have seen in the scene of Martin playing the voicemail for his teammates so they could all have a good laugh.
 
I agree with this completely.  But the extension is that what we conclude about Martin's emotional distress is also necessarily subjective - the fact that one grown adult might find the atmosphere of an NFL locker room emotionally distressing is not, in and of itself, necessarily grounds for levying wholesale indictments about that locker room.  It seems to be a complex situation and the only way to gain real insight is to discover more and more about the nature of the relationships involved, which means hearing the observations of people closest to the situation.
 

soxfan121

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Brandon Marshall, former Dolphin and outspoken advocate for mental health issues with a FASCINATING take
 
“Look at it from this standpoint,” Marshall said. “Take a little boy and a little girl. A little boy falls down and the first thing we say as parents is ‘Get up, shake it off. You’ll be OK. Don’t cry.’ A little girl falls down, what do we say? ‘It’s going to be OK.’ We validate their feelings. So right there from that moment, we’re teaching our men to mask their feelings, to not show their emotions. And it’s that times 100 with football players. You can’t show that your hurt, can’t show any pain. So for a guy to come into the locker room and he shows a little vulnerability, that’s a problem.
"That’s what I mean by the culture of the NFL. And that’s what we have to change. So what’s going on in Miami goes on in every locker room. But it’s time for us to start talking. Maybe have some group sessions where guys sit down and maybe talk about what’s going on off the field or what’s going on in the building and not mask everything. Because the (longer) it goes untreated, the worse it gets.”
 
“It was kind of disturbing to see some of the things that were said, but I also know that it’s not an isolated incident. It’s unfortunately the culture of the NFL," Marshall said. "We walk around saying the N-word as black players, and it’s not right. We get offended when the white player says it. That’s on him and where his heart’s at when he says it. It doesn’t make it right. But we can’t jump down a guy’s throat because he’s saying it and he’s white. The black guys are saying it, too; doesn’t make it right. People are capable of change. That’s something Richie has to deal with. I’m not condoning that. But people do things and say things that are hurtful. That’s something that Richie has to deal with.”
 
From the Murtha piece linked up thread: 
 
Incognito was made a scapegoat for the hell coming down on the Dolphins organization, which in turn said it knew nothing about any so-called hazing. That’s the most outlandish lie of this whole thing. The coaches know everything. The coaches know who’s getting picked on and in many cases call for that player to be singled out. Any type of denial on that side is ridiculous. I have friends on more than a dozen teams, and it’s the same everywhere. What people want to call bullying is something that is never going away from football. This is a game of high testosterone, with men hammering their bodies on a daily basis. You are taught to be an aggressive person, and you typically do not make it to the NFL if you are a passive person. There are a few, but it’s very hard. Playing football is a man’s job, and if there’s any weak link, it gets weeded out. It’s the leaders’ job on the team to take care of it.
 
 

Marciano490

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Sprowl said:
 
That is astonishing. Management culpability for generating, manipulating, and otherwise trying to ignite the situation is looking like bad science fiction. First, Incognito is to toughen up Martin, then Martin is to punch Incognito. Then the two fight it out in a pay-per-view death cage match.
 
You say sci-fi, my first thought was that Ireland watched 300 one time too many.  This is Sparta?
 

Trlicek's Whip

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sodenj5 said:
Careful. Those are some dangerous waters you're wading into.

Most believe it's the hyper macho culture of the NFL banding around one of "their guys" and shunning the guy they feel turned on them. It can't be that they're all actually telling the truth.
 
 
sodenj5 said:
I agree that it doesn't have to be one or the other. People, myself included, are painting everything in this thread black and white, but you make a very valid point.

The atmosphere and culture in an NFL locker room is very different than that of any other workplace. While what was seen by teammates as friendly by Incognito, and may have very well been good intentioned, may be seen by others from an outsider's perspective as something inappropriate or even bullying.

Where does one draw the line though? How far is too far, and how do you know if you've gone too far if you've never heard anything from the other person?

I think where Incognito ultimately went wrong is that his style of "big brother tough love" that has clearly endeared him to most of his teammates did not sit well or work for Jonathan Martin.
 
Your ability to drill down past "rock bottom" is astounding.
 
Don't paint yourself as the arbiter of the minority side of the argument when you then post chippy snark and self-admit that your manner of posting in here doesn't allow for anything but a Tastes Great Less Filling argument in the bleachers.  
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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Trlicek's Whip said:
 
 
 
Your ability to drill down past "rock bottom" is astounding.
 
Don't paint yourself as the arbiter of the minority side of the argument when you then post chippy snark and self-admit that your manner of posting in here doesn't allow for anything but a Tastes Great Less Filling argument in the bleachers.  
 
How about we take a step back and stop the pile-on on sodjen? The posts are becoming more about him and less about the issue at hand.
 
There's plenty to talk about here, and unsurprising it's more nuanced than it appeared at first blush.
 
May 16, 2013
38
That's a really interesting and well thought-out take by Brandon Marshall.  I guess these guys actually AREN'T caricatures of real people.  Go figure.

Now, does this mean that we're going to get a sensitive and cogent take on a similar incident in a few years from Richie Incognito?  And will we ever learn his real name?  Only time will tell.
 

AlNipper49

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sodenj's attempts to paint himself as the victim of bullying remind me of the old joke about the guy who murders his parents, then throws himself on the mercy of the court, since he's a "poor, defenseless orphan."


SJH just asked not to do this two posts above.

Stop
 

sodenj5

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Interesting piece on ESPN with reactions from players around the league mirroring a lot of what we've seen thus far. Some saying the blame should be on the coaches, some saying the blame should be on Incognito, and some saying Martin should share some blame. I thought MJD's quote was interesting as well:

http://m.espn.go.com/general/blogs/blogpost?blogname=nflnation&id=98899

I'm not a big hazing guy at all, but at the end of the year we are going to have a running back dinner. Granted, we're not going to spend -- let me put it this way, your money goes off where you were drafted. We're not going to have a fifth- or sixth-rounder pay $30,000. Come on, let's be reasonable. ... You've got to go through it and that's just part of being -- I don't want to say it's part of being accepted -- but it's just part of our culture, this NFL culture.
 

soxfan121

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Oklahoma Jones said:
That's a really interesting and well thought-out take by Brandon Marshall.  I guess these guys actually AREN'T caricatures of real people.  Go figure.

Now, does this mean that we're going to get a sensitive and cogent take on a similar incident in a few years from Richie Incognito?  And will we ever learn his real name?  Only time will tell.
 
First, I know the bolded is a joke that's been breached in the thread before, but that's a particularly awesome iteration. 
 
Second, I find Brandon Marshall - in general - to be fascinating. If he weren't as naturally gifted and talented, he would no longer be in the NFL. He's had some terrible off-field incidents, particularly his repeated domestic violence situations, the allegations he hit a woman outside a nightclub and the entirety of the 07-08 seasons where he was involved in too many things to recount. 
 
But he's also an amazing spokesperson for mental health issues and has been open and honest about his struggles with addiction and mental illness in a way that few other athletes have while active as players. 
 
And the video of his words posted above is just jaw-droppingly awesome. I know that this is probably outside the topic of this thread but I'm stunned to hear an athlete so concisely address gender roles and the issues they create so succinctly and eloquently. And calling for a discussion of these issues will most likely head nowhere, but it is heartening to me to hear it. It is refreshing to hear a high profile athlete question why we educate our sons differently than we do our daughters - and whether that's a good idea - is just...I don't even know how to say it. 
 

SeoulSoxFan

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Billy Jo Robidoux said:
Yesterday on Felger and Mazz, Mark Bertrand made perhaps the best statement on the Dolphins situation -- the biggest disappointment is that this is not happening to the Jets.
Hi, whatcha doing for dinner?
 

DJnVa

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sodenj5 said:
Interesting piece on ESPN with reactions from players around the league mirroring a lot of what we've seen thus far. Some saying the blame should be on the coaches, some saying the blame should be on Incognito, and some saying Martin should share some blame. I thought MJD's quote was interesting as well:

http://m.espn.go.com/general/blogs/blogpost?blogname=nflnation&id=98899
 
 
I just hate the appeals to "this is our culture", whatever that culture is. That's a recipe for lots of shitty things that have happened all around the world.
 

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DrewDawg said:
 
I just hate the appeals to "this is our culture", whatever that culture is. That's a recipe for lots of shitty things that have happened all around the world.
 
I was about to make a point that "culture" in this context sounds a lot like "that's how we do things around here", rather than anything Cicero had originally intended.
 

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DrewDawg said:
 
I just hate the appeals to "this is our culture", whatever that culture is. That's a recipe for lots of shitty things that have happened all around the world.
 
Charles Napier comes to mind.  When governor of Bombay he clashed with local Hindi priests who wanted to continue their custom of "Sati" (widow burning in the funeral pyre of their deceased husband.)  His response was apparently:
 
Be it so. This burning of widows is your custom; prepare the funeral pile. But my nation has also a custom. When men burn women alive we hang them, and confiscate all their property. My carpenters shall therefore erect gibbets on which to hang all concerned when the widow is consumed. Let us all act according to national customs.
 

Reverend

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Morgan's Magic Snowplow said:
Isn't the converse also true? This is my first post in the thread but my impression from reading it at various points in the last few days is a significant rush to judgement based on fairly limited information and then sodenj defensively perhaps going a little overboard in the other direction. There were tons of people essentially saying "cased closed" based on a partial voice mail transcript that had zero context and then scoffing at or simply dismissing the comments of the Dolphins players that seemed to muddy the waters somewhat.
 
Most definitely--and perhaps by definition since what I'm saying is that evidence that may be neutral ought not be assumed to support one side or the other in the absence of additional evidence and/or context that makes it more understandable.
 
And yes, each side can do this. I was responding, though, to a specific set of assumptions about evidence as claiming that bullying did not happen that is intrinsic to the phenomenon of how bullying occurs. I think that makes it a little bit different. In a sense, evidence presented at face value without a kind of theory of what's going on can be very damaging to understanding a situation. Heck, Incognito could be morally culpable of the damage of bullying and not even know it.
 
And yes, I agree that this can occur on many sides of a situation and I understand people wanting to withhold judgment. I see that as a bit different, though, from saying we don't know anything. I want to look at what we know, or think we know. To that end, I think questioning the assumptions is good. Questioning if the voice mail was really received by Martin as a bullying act is good. Asserting that because others saw Martin and Incognito as friends means that the voice mail was not a bullying act is not good. I think there's an important difference there.
 
 
Morgan's Magic Snowplow said:
Maybe this has already been linked, but former Dolphins offensive lineman Lydon Murtha has a long take on the situation posted in the MMQB section of si.com.  He has known Incognito for a long time (going back to Nebraska) so who knows about his impartiality, although he says that he's just interested in telling the truth and clearing up misconceptions.  Some relevant portions below:
 
It has been, and I'm with JimBoSox9 in that this could all be "true" and utterly consistent with someone socialized in and accepting of an oppressive culture--to me, it's a little like people who cite polls that show that women in Saudi Arabia don't want the right to drive cars anyway.
 
I was also very put off by how he collapsed Martin being shy with being standoffish. He's claiming that a bunch of NFL veterans were aggrieved by a rookie who may have been intimidated by them and that just doesn't scan for me.
 
 
Morgan's Magic Snowplow said:
 
I agree with this completely.  But the extension is that what we conclude about Martin's emotional distress is also necessarily subjective - the fact that one grown adult might find the atmosphere of an NFL locker room emotionally distressing is not, in and of itself, necessarily grounds for levying wholesale indictments about that locker room.  It seems to be a complex situation and the only way to gain real insight is to discover more and more about the nature of the relationships involved, which means hearing the observations of people closest to the situation.
 
Sure, there's a place for Geertz's thick description, but I think I know enough about your background to know that you know (one plus two plus two plus...) that those closest to a thing don't always best understand it--I hear some people make a living off engaging that phenomenon, eh?
 

Mooch

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I was about to make a point that "culture" in this context sounds a lot like "that's how we do things around here", rather than anything Cicero had originally intended.
 
That's Ben Leber's point:  "It's almost as if their culture in the locker room assisted in Richie getting away with this. No one else his senior could step up and tell him not to do it. If you have a thug as a team captain, it's hard to tell him to cut it out."

To me, the interesting part of the story is how electing the wrong team captains can destroy chemistry:  When the Jets named Santonio Holmes as a captain, we all snickered as Pats fans but I think that action lead directly to the issues the Jets faced that season just as Incognito being on the Dolphin leadership council led to the toxic culture in the Miami locker room.  I can't imagine a coach looking at a doofus like Incognito and allowing a situation where he could be made a leader.  As a head coach, you need to look at your roster and realize that it's sometimes better to have no designated leaders than the wrong ones. 
 

The Allented Mr Ripley

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Rovin Romine said:
 
 
Charles Napier comes to mind.  When governor of Bombay he clashed with local Hindi priests who wanted to continue their custom of "Sati" (widow burning in the funeral pyre of their deceased husband.)  His response was apparently:
 
Be it so. This burning of widows is your custom; prepare the funeral pile. But my nation has also a custom. When men burn women alive we hang them, and confiscate all their property. My carpenters shall therefore erect gibbets on which to hang all concerned when the widow is consumed. Let us all act according to national customs.
 
 
Wow. Governor of Bombay AND lead singer of the Good Ol' Boys.
 

Dogman

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The Allented Mr Ripley said:
 
Wow. Governor of Bombay AND lead singer of the Good Ol' Boys.
 
And bully to Trautman and Rambo.  Later, he is bullied by Han Lector.  Full circle, this.
 

kenneycb

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Mooch said:
 
That's Ben Leber's point:  "It's almost as if their culture in the locker room assisted in Richie getting away with this. No one else his senior could step up and tell him not to do it. If you have a thug as a team captain, it's hard to tell him to cut it out."

To me, the interesting part of the story is how electing the wrong team captains can destroy chemistry:  When the Jets named Santonio Holmes as a captain, we all snickered as Pats fans but I think that action lead directly to the issues the Jets faced that season just as Incognito being on the Dolphin leadership council led to the toxic culture in the Miami locker room.  I can't imagine a coach looking at a doofus like Incognito and allowing a situation where he could be made a leader.  As a head coach, you need to look at your roster and realize that it's sometimes better to have no designated leaders than the wrong ones. 
But we also don't have any idea who these guys are behind the scenes.  John Lackey seemed like the biggest jackass in the world until it came out that his teammates loved and respected the hell out of him.
 

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I do think this is a more nuanced issue than many of the posters in this thread seem to.  Essentially, the problem is that you're trying to train somebody to be a monster one day a week, paying them based upon how effectively they can be a monster, and then want them to avoid being one the rest of the week.  It's possible that humans simply aren't wired that way.
 
That voicemail is horrible on many levels, and has no place in civilized society.  But, if on Sunday Incognito said the same thing to an opposing player, threatening them to back down at the next snap, nobody would have thrown a flag.  Nor would they have if the opposing player responded by shoving Incognito, as Ireland suggested.  But, if Incognito ranted in this way and the opposing player decided to stop playing the game, we'd see this as an effective ploy by Incognito and weakness on the part of his opponent.  
 
In other words, we want our gladiators to be Incognito one day a week and Martin the other six, and I don't know whether that's possible (and, frankly, suspect it's not, though I'd love to hear an expert weigh in).  And if it's not, the NFL has always been a league in which that one day a week outweighs the other six, and outweighs the lasting physical and mental damage that often can't be adequately repaired when a career is over.  
 
So, the problem I have is that I think Incognito is a monster, and as a result, a better football player.  And Martin, as much as he has the physical tools, isn't enough of a monster for the NFL, and faced with that reality, made the rare decision that he doesn't want to become one.  I applaud Martin for that decision -- it's the one I wish I would make in the same position.  
 
But, Ireland and Philbin aren't tasked with contributing to the civilized world -- Ireland is tasked with finding the best bullies he can, and Philbin is tasked with training them to be even more effective bullies.  How many times does the less physical team win an NFL game?  So ultimately, that's the problem -- I support Martin and his decision, and want everybody to emulate him.  But I'd rather my team hire Incognito, and if I were a quarterback, I'd rather Incognito protect me than Martin.  As awful as this sounds, if Martin came back in with a gun instead, it would have made him a better monster of exactly the type that Ireland and Philbin were inculcating, and if I'm a quarterback and my ability to remember my children's names ten years from now is on the line, I want that monster on my offensive line.  
 
And yeah, even just typing that out should and does make me feel guilty as a football fan, much in the same way that interviews with ex-football players always do.  I am thankful that I was able to find a career which doesn't work this way.  And, this is one of several problems the NFL faces -- the team is reacting this way because they've also been bred to be monsters, and you can't just do that one day a week.  And I suspect that as more information comes out and prompts studies, we'll discover the extent to which this sort of environment and training causes lasting mental illness on top of things like CTE.  
 
In many ways, this and bounties seem alike: I suspect that every NFL team has its own tricks for training monsters that, were they to come to light, would shock and horrify us.  Goodell's current plan seems to be to respond to the ones that end up on CNN and ignore everything else, and hope that not too many end up on CNN.  But, I don't think that's going to work in an era in which it's easier and easier for this stuff to come to light, and eventually the NFL is going to have to figure out what to do the rest of the week about the monsters they're creating for Sundays.  
 
So yeah, I desperately want Martin to be right and Incognito to be wrong, but I don't think it's that simple.  And I don't know what to do about it.  
 

cannonball 1729

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DrewDawg said:
 
I just hate the appeals to "this is our culture", whatever that culture is. That's a recipe for lots of shitty things that have happened all around the world.
 
Every time I hear a comment about how NFL culture is different because football is such a violent, warlike game, I remember that this stuff wouldn't fly in the US military even though the military engages in actual wars.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Reverend said:
Sure, there's a place for Geertz's thick description, but I think I know enough about your background to know that you know (one plus two plus two plus...) that those closest to a thing don't always best understand it--I hear some people make a living off engaging that phenomenon, eh?
Great post, with which I really don't disagree about anything. The one point that I would add to the very end, however, is that while an external observer can often understand a phenomenon better than a participant (as you note, I sort of have to agree there...), I think that external observer needs some source of informational leverage, beyond just theoretical training or insight.  Put in more concrete terms, knowing a lot about the sociology of bullying is not a sufficient basis for determining that one understands - and understands better than the people involved - the nature of the relationship between Martin and Incognito or, as seems more likely to me, between Martin and a larger group of teammates.  That doesn't mean that we should take the word of participants as gospel (far from it).  But it sure as fuck means that we shouldn't simply dismiss those accounts because we know better about "how bullying really works."  I don't think you took that step, but others in this thread have.
 

sodenj5

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CSteinhardt said:
I do think this is a more nuanced issue than many of the posters in this thread seem to.  Essentially, the problem is that you're trying to train somebody to be a monster one day a week, paying them based upon how effectively they can be a monster, and then want them to avoid being one the rest of the week.  It's possible that humans simply aren't wired that way.
 
That voicemail is horrible on many levels, and has no place in civilized society.  But, if on Sunday Incognito said the same thing to an opposing player, threatening them to back down at the next snap, nobody would have thrown a flag.  Nor would they have if the opposing player responded by shoving Incognito, as Ireland suggested.  But, if Incognito ranted in this way and the opposing player decided to stop playing the game, we'd see this as an effective ploy by Incognito and weakness on the part of his opponent.  
 
In other words, we want our gladiators to be Incognito one day a week and Martin the other six, and I don't know whether that's possible (and, frankly, suspect it's not, though I'd love to hear an expert weigh in).  And if it's not, the NFL has always been a league in which that one day a week outweighs the other six, and outweighs the lasting physical and mental damage that often can't be adequately repaired when a career is over.  
 
So, the problem I have is that I think Incognito is a monster, and as a result, a better football player.  And Martin, as much as he has the physical tools, isn't enough of a monster for the NFL, and faced with that reality, made the rare decision that he doesn't want to become one.  I applaud Martin for that decision -- it's the one I wish I would make in the same position.  
 
But, Ireland and Philbin aren't tasked with contributing to the civilized world -- Ireland is tasked with finding the best bullies he can, and Philbin is tasked with training them to be even more effective bullies.  How many times does the less physical team win an NFL game?  So ultimately, that's the problem -- I support Martin and his decision, and want everybody to emulate him.  But I'd rather my team hire Incognito, and if I were a quarterback, I'd rather Incognito protect me than Martin.  As awful as this sounds, if Martin came back in with a gun instead, it would have made him a better monster of exactly the type that Ireland and Philbin were inculcating, and if I'm a quarterback and my ability to remember my children's names ten years from now is on the line, I want that monster on my offensive line.  
 
And yeah, even just typing that out should and does make me feel guilty as a football fan, much in the same way that interviews with ex-football players always do.  I am thankful that I was able to find a career which doesn't work this way.  And, this is one of several problems the NFL faces -- the team is reacting this way because they've also been bred to be monsters, and you can't just do that one day a week.  And I suspect that as more information comes out and prompts studies, we'll discover the extent to which this sort of environment and training causes lasting mental illness on top of things like CTE.  
 
In many ways, this and bounties seem alike: I suspect that every NFL team has its own tricks for training monsters that, were they to come to light, would shock and horrify us.  Goodell's current plan seems to be to respond to the ones that end up on CNN and ignore everything else, and hope that not too many end up on CNN.  But, I don't think that's going to work in an era in which it's easier and easier for this stuff to come to light, and eventually the NFL is going to have to figure out what to do the rest of the week about the monsters they're creating for Sundays.  
 
So yeah, I desperately want Martin to be right and Incognito to be wrong, but I don't think it's that simple.  And I don't know what to do about it.  
This is a good post and shows the predicament that the NFL is in. How do you make a guy Richie Incognito on the field, a guy that will do anything he can to help you win, and have him be a guy like Martin off the field, a smart, educated young man that has by all accounts been a fine human being his entire life.

This also extends further into the safety issue. How do you have players bigger, faster, stronger every single year and a sport that thrives on physical violence still be safe for the players that play the game?
 

Reverend

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Dogman2 said:
 
And bully to Trautman and Rambo.  Later, he is bullied by Han Lector.  Full circle, this.
 
I had no idea that Oregon Trail has been a tv show.
 
Morgan's Magic Snowplow said:
Great post, with which I really don't disagree about anything. The one point that I would add to the very end, however, is that while an external observer can often understand a phenomenon better than a participant (as you note, I sort of have to agree there...), I think that external observer needs some source of informational leverage, beyond just theoretical training or insight.  Put in more concrete terms, knowing a lot about the sociology of bullying is not a sufficient basis for determining that one understands - and understands better than the people involved - the nature of the relationship between Martin and Incognito or, as seems more likely to me, between Martin and a larger group of teammates.  That doesn't mean that we should take the word of participants as gospel (far from it).  But it sure as fuck means that we shouldn't simply dismiss those accounts because we know better about "how bullying really works."  I don't think you took that step, but others in this thread have.
 
Word. In a lot of ways, we do best when we shove back and keep phenomena in the gray because then we don't have illusions of certainty, yeah?
 
My favorite part about the analytics movement in sports is discovering, as one NBA executive put it, we don't actually know the right way to play the game. Society is we don't even know how many orders of magnitude harder to grasp. Maybe some sense of confusion is good for us.
 

DJnVa

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sodenj5 said:
 How do you make a guy Richie Incognito on the field, a guy that will do anything he can to help you win, and have him be a guy like Martin off the field, a smart, educated young man that has by all accounts been a fine human being his entire life.
 
 
Well---there *are* those guys out there. The problem is that guys like Icognito and Hernandez exist too. And when you find out the depths of their douchebaggery you get them the fuck out of the league before something like this happens and drags the sport through the muck.
 
Easier said than done, I acknowledge, but they need to make an example of someone.
 

Mooch

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DrewDawg said:
 
Well---there *are* those guys out there. The problem is that guy slike Icognito and Hernandez exist too. And when you find out the depths of their douchebaggery you get them the fuck out of the league before something like this happens and drags the sport through the muck.
 
Easier said than done, I acknowledge, but they need to make an example of someone.
 
Exactly:   When did the concepts of "good person" and "good football player" become mutually exclusive for so many people?  
 

Reverend

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sodenj5 said:
This is a good post and shows the predicament that the NFL is in. How do you make a guy Richie Incognito on the field, a guy that will do anything he can to help you win, and have him be a guy like Martin off the field, a smart, educated young man that has by all accounts been a fine human being his entire life.
 
Discipline. By which I mean something like Bushido, not chastisement and shaming. I'm being totally serious--humans have existed for a long-ass time and there are other models out there.
 

 
sodenj5 said:
This also extends further into the safety issue. How do you have players bigger, faster, stronger every single year and a sport that thrives on physical violence still be safe for the players that play the game?
 
Rules. Forbidding things like hitting with the helmet would be a good start.
 

sodenj5

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While it still doesn't make Ireland's remark look better, the timeline changes the story around a bit. Per Andrew Abramson of the Palm Beach Post, Pro Football Talk has now amended their story on Ireland to include the fact that his comment suggesting Martin should punch Incognito was made after Martin had left the team. Not before.

https://mobile.twitter.com/AbramsonPBP/status/398516228672987136
 

Ralphwiggum

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This is the 3rd paragraph of that Murtha article:
 
 
From the beginning, when he was drafted in April 2012, Martin did not seem to want to be one of the group. He came off as standoffish and shy to the rest of the offensive linemen. He couldn’t look anyone in the eye, which was puzzling for a football player at this level on a team full of grown-ass men. We all asked the same question: Why won’t he be open with us? What’s with the wall being put up? I never really figured it out. He did something I’d never seen before by balking at the idea of paying for a rookie dinner, which is a meal for a position group paid for by rookies. (For example, I paid $9,600 for one my rookie year.) I don’t know if Martin ever ended up paying for one, as I was cut before seeing the outcome.
 
Murtha starts off by saying he's not taking sides, then spends a paragraph telling us that Martin was different because he wouldn't look guys in eye, was standoffish, and refused to play along with the awesome traditions like "Lets make all of the rookies pay for ridiculously lavish meals".  None of these things should be relevant to Murtha's attempt at "clearing up the misperceptions" that have come out about this story.  They are a thinly veiled attempt to justify the treatment of Martin by Incognito.  He was different and refused to do the stuff rookies were supposed to put up with.  He was treated no differently than anyone else was treated, he just couldn't hack it.
 
None of this sheds any light on what actually happened or how Martin actually felt about what Incognito was doing.  But it is illustrative of why players' (and former players') reactions to this story are not particularly insightful.
 

pdaj

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In the last 24 hours, this thread has turned into one of the very best that I've ever followed on this site -- and I've been a member for over a decade. While part of me still wishes I was an undergrad at Stonehill College for this dialogue -- for in those days, I had the time to sit down and engage in messageboard exchanges as much as my heart desired -- not having the time to post in the last day or so has given me the time to think, reflect, and appreciate solely reading the thoughts and opinions of others. Yesterday morning, I devised a quick summary of what I wanted to say in this thread, but so much has been discussed since then; and this event has proven itself to be much more complicated and multi-layered than first reported. I really don't know where to start. Of course, this NFL story will continue to evolve, but it seems safe to say at this point that it will serve as platform to discuss race, bullying, and NFL culture for the forseeable future. Hopefully for the benefit of the league.
 
Before I get back to work, though, I just wanted to clarify one prior point. As a Dolphins' fan, I'm only interested in one thing -- the truth. I want the head coach of "my" team to a terrific leader of young men. Someone who is intelligent, ethical, and supportive of his players. I want to root for players who are good teammates and relatively good people. I want the Dolphins' locker room to consist of a close-knit group of players who support each other. I want there to be a strong veteran leadership among this group who will intervene in the instances of a player being mistreated or bullied. That's the type of team I want to root for.
 
Thus, if it were to be proven that Martin voiced his concerns to Philbin and he ignored them -- I want him gone. If it's proven that Incognito used Martin as his personal whipping boy, bullying him throughout his NFL career, I want him gone, as well. And for the veterans who just sat back and watched? Good riddance. In addition, there's not a player I would support more than Jonathan Martin if he chooses to resume his NFL career.
 
That said, several pages back, some non-Miami fans had Philbin and Turner being fired, possibly in the next couple of weeks, prior to any real facts being presented. Now, clearly this doesn't apply to every contributer in this thread -- but generally, I believe it's a lot easier to run with with the pervailing storyline when you're not vested in the team being discussed. For whatever team you root for, imagine if this situation was happening to your team. For Pats fans, would you quickly join others in calling for Belichick's head after a writer tweets, "so and so told to 'toughen up' [insert player name]"? Or would you think, Hmm, if true, that's not good. But that just doesn't seem to be something BB would do. I'll wait for the whole story to reveal itself.
 
I feel as though that this as been the Miami fans' general position on this board. I can't speak for every Fin fan, but I have no desire to defend Ireland, Philbin, Incognito, or any other player if it is truly proven that they have contributed to the mental breakdown of a player. That stated, before I fire a coach or chatise an entire organization, I believe it's important to recognize that 1) This situation is very complex and 2) There are many facts that have yet to be revealed.
 
Edit: Spelling and grammar
 

soxfan121

JAG
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 22, 2002
23,043
Brian Phillips with, IMO, a must read opinion piece on this issue.
 
I am here to start a fight, because I'm a man and that's how I solve problems. I'm not here to help you. I am here to fucking hurt you. That's what I've learned in my years as an NFL fan. You have an issue with somebody? You see somebody being stupid? You don't look the other way. You don't back down. You strap on your man boots and you shove it through their teeth.
 

Let me tell you how I know this. I know it because the NFL told me. Take the Dolphins. They suck, but they're still in the NFL. I'm telling it like it is; that's what men do.