Richie Incognito has had one heck of a week. But according to reports, it’s nothing compared to the torment he’s put his own teammate, Jonathan Martin, through by bullying.
In reports released over the weekend and leading up until today, there are some pretty blistering statements, including voicemails, of what has been said to Martin.
- refers to Martin, who is biracial, as a “half-n*****,” according to a source who was privy to the communication.
- There are several instances of threats as well, the sources said, and overall disturbing exchanges, including one in which Incognito refers to defecating in Martin’s mouth.
- Incognito also made reference to tracking down members of Martin’s family and harming them in the texts as well, according to a source.
Added to the latest of this scandal? This Dolphins program that gives an interview from Incognito of “who’s the easiest person to scare” to which he answers, “Martin”.
While Incognito may be a jerk for what he put a fellow teammate through, I believe Martin should have stood up for himself and handled it man-to-man, in the locker room.We don’t yet know if this happened, but it’s dangerous footing for the NFL to step in to investigate a matter of what appears to be, one player picking on another.
Did Incognito do the right thing towards a teammate? Probably not.
Should the NFL step in to fine or discipline Incognito? Absolutely not.
Name calling goes on in every sport. It’s how you get into someone’s head to gain an advantage. Fans want to be up and close and personal to the game but at the end of the day, these are focused athletes who are going to say everything about you, your momma, your dead grandma or even your children to try and gain a competitive advantage. What a fan hears, or gets offended by, between two grown athletes should not dictate who continues to play on the field.
But this type of treatment shouldn’t be happening between teammates. Especially a team on the cusp of a wild card playoff spot.
And while some may say that this was just a case of rookie-hazing, I would tend to disagree with the culture of hazing in Miami as it has also surfaced that Vets were forcing rookies, who make $400k annually, to pick up team dinner tabs that cost upwards of $30,000 and fiance nights out on the town in South Beach.
It’s an unfortunate situation for a team that had high hopes this year. But for all parties involved, here’s hoping that Martin can learn to block out the negatives in his life and focus on the positives of being one of a select few who get to play professional football for a living. He shouldn’t let anyone take that away from him.
[Image via Artrell Hawkins]