- Dec 22, 2002
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.