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Debate continues regarding Martin’s reaction to Incognito

Dolphins AP

It’s a topic on which there should be no room for debate; Dolphins tackle Jonathan Martin believed he was being harassed, and he reported that to the team instead of punching Richie Incognito in the face, or worse.

But the debate continues to rage among people in and around football, with some suggesting that Martin somehow did something wrong by making an official report of harassment to the team.

Former NFL running back Ricky Williams has chimed in on the subject, criticizing Martin for how he handled the situation and suggesting that Martin’s complaints were in some way contrived.  Though Williams doesn’t have direct knowledge of any of the facts, he didn’t hesitate to suggest that Martin was in the wrong during an appearance on 95.7 The Game in San Francisco.

“I think I can relate and I can speak on this because I was at a point where I was done with the NFL, I needed to take a break,” Williams said.  “Unlike Jonathan, I didn’t have to find a scapegoat or someone to blame or some situation — I just failed a drug test — but I didn’t have to bring anyone else down when I found out that I couldn’t handle what I was going through.”

Whoa.  Williams didn’t bring anyone else down by abruptly “retiring” on the eve of training camp in 2004?  Williams was the focal point of the team’s offense, and he left the organization in a lurch by walking away from the game just as the season was about to begin.

As Williams ultimately admitted, he didn’t leave voluntarily.  He was facing a one-year suspension for chronic marijuana use, so he simply quit.  That specific experience doesn’t exactly translate to the situation Martin was facing.

To his credit, Williams made a few good points while discussing the Martin situation.  He suggested that a lack of leadership in the locker room allowed the interactions between Incognito and Martin, and Williams pointed out the difficulty of reconciling the concept of “bullying” with pro football.

“My first thought was, ‘How is bullying something that’s even mentioned regarding the NFL?’” Williams said.  “Because that’s kind of what we’re taught to do, at least on the field, is to bully the guy across from us, so that we can win the football game.”

But Williams takes it too far by presuming that the violent nature of the NFL means that players should tolerate any and all insults and indignities — and that if they can’t or won’t they need to do what he did and quit the game.

“There’s no room to play the victim or to be bullied or to even have that discussion when it comes to the NFL. If you’re having that discussion it means that maybe you don’t belong in the NFL,” Williams said.

As others see it, maybe that kind of behavior doesn’t belong in the NFL.

Stanford coach David Shaw addressed this week the possibility that Martin could be blazing the trail for other players who realize that there are limits to what should be tolerated.

“Absolutely,” Shaw said regarding the possibility that Martin’s decision to take a stand via the proper channels is a “Stanford thing,” via the San Jose Mercury News.

We’re proud of Jonathan,” Shaw added.  “Like I said, the biggest thing for Jonathan, in my mind, is getting him back to a position where he’s ready to play the game that he loves.”

The comments from Williams and Shaw came before the report emerged that Dolphins coaches wanted Incognito to “toughen up” Martin.  This added fact likely won’t change the minds of those who already believe that, in the rough-and-tumble world of the NFL, players need to get rough in return or tumble out of the league.

That’s why the league needs to send a clear and unmistakable message that Martin did the right thing, that harassment won’t be tolerated, and that any members of the coaching staff who caused or contributed in any way to the situation will be disciplined accordingly.

The league’s new commitment to safety, regardless of whether it’s driven by political, legal, and/or parental concerns, shouldn’t end at the playing field.  Harassment among teammates can cause physical and emotional injuries, and the Martin case could be the starting point for real change.

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59 Responses to “Debate continues regarding Martin’s reaction to Incognito”
  1. klejdys says: Nov 6, 2013 7:50 AM

    Pretty clear COL Ireland ordered the code red on PVT Martin. And goddamn it, you need him on that wall!

  2. jaychristsays says: Nov 6, 2013 7:55 AM

    You know one reason why some people don’t feel sorry for Jonathan Martin? Because he lied to league claiming that the coaching staff knew about his problems with Incognito all along. Schefter confirmed this.

  3. getsome99 says: Nov 6, 2013 8:01 AM

    Is it the “Stanford way” to not tell anyone for months and months about what’s going on and them just abruptly quit the team mid season?

  4. esafille says: Nov 6, 2013 8:01 AM

    this is all BS. We might as well just put skirts on all the players play two hand touch. And let’s stop tracking wins and losses and give everyone a participation medal

  5. crippled4life says: Nov 6, 2013 8:01 AM

    Great article Mike, I totally agree.

  6. touchdownroddywhite says: Nov 6, 2013 8:07 AM

    Ricky Williams is speaking from the unfiltered view of a lot of players. What will ultimately determine if Martin’s actions “inspire” others is how easily Martin is assimilated back into a locker room. That’s IF Martin decides to return. If he doesn’t, he goes from looking bad to some to looking like a bitter quitter to most.

  7. tfaulk says: Nov 6, 2013 8:12 AM

    “Whoa. Williams didn’t bring anyone else down by abruptly “retiring” on the eve of training camp in 2004? Williams was the focal point of the team’s offense, and he left the organization in a lurch by walking away from the game just as the season was about to begin.”

    When Ricky says he didn’t “bring anyone down”, he’s not remotely claiming his “retirement” had zero effect on the team. He’s stating he didn’t need to blame anyone for his inability to cope and/or fit in with the requirements of the NFL. Which is 100% correct.

    I see absolutely no reason to try to grind an ax against Ricky on your personal, misdirected parsing of his statement.

  8. tannethrill says: Nov 6, 2013 8:15 AM

    Ricky didn’t bring anyone down with him by blaming his problem on another like Wandstedt overusing him.

  9. tfaulk says: Nov 6, 2013 8:17 AM

    Also: “That specific experience doesn’t exactly translate to the situation Martin was facing.”

    Ricky didn’t “retire” solely because he was no longer happy being a part of the NFL, but he certainly did make such a decision over several years and his experience is almost uniquely applicable to this situation. I can’t think of a better person to “advise” Martin at this point.

    The fact that Marten walked out when he got demoted and harmlessly pranked rather than seven months ago when he was allegedly threatened suggests that Marten wasn’t fitting in in the NFL and was giving up for reasons other than the “bullying.”

  10. doctorrustbelt says: Nov 6, 2013 8:18 AM

    When your biggest defenders are stoned druggie Rickey Williams and janitor level Wonderlic scoring karlos dansby…. you know your side is in trouble.

  11. jetsjetsjetsnow says: Nov 6, 2013 8:18 AM

    You know one reason why some people don’t feel sorry for Jonathan Martin? Because he lied to league claiming that the coaching staff knew about his problems with Incognito all along. Schefter confirmed this.

    ———————

    It’s come out that the coaching staff not only knew about it but were the ones who instructed Incognito to harass the kid.

    So where was he supposed to turn to?

  12. meatsweat says: Nov 6, 2013 8:19 AM

    So I guess the writer of this article is speaking from the experience of all his playing years in a pro sports environment? Incognito is a huge donkey, but all of this should have been handled in house. This isn’t like your everyday office…when things get out, the whole franchise pays the price. Soft.

  13. grandpoopah says: Nov 6, 2013 8:20 AM

    As you can see from the wannabe tough guy commenters, there is indeed still a debate raging on this topic. It’s just that one side consists of knuckle-dragging mouth-breathers who talk tough anonymously on Internet message boards and who, in all likelihood, don’t understand the concept of workplace harassment in part because they don’t even have a job. In a sense, it is less a debate and more of a Rorschach test.

  14. tfaulk says: Nov 6, 2013 8:21 AM

    “We’re proud of Jonathan,” Shaw added. “Like I said, the biggest thing for Jonathan, in my mind, is getting him back to a position where he’s ready to play the game that he loves.”

    I can’t take any such comments as valuable whatsoever UNTIL Martin actually demonstrates his ability and value on the field. (I suppose the odds are reasonably good that he leaves the team, joins a more successful team, and does succeed —based on past history with other players — but I’m not holding my breath.)

    If he doesn’t, then he hasn’t done anything to get himself into a position to be ready to play the game that he loves. (Certainly not showing up for OTAs wasn’t the best way to get him into position to be ready to play the game that he “loves.”)

  15. tacowrecker says: Nov 6, 2013 8:23 AM

    So as long as it’s an NFL player we’re talking about any level of violence, brutality or belligerence is acceptable and the preferred way of dealing with any and all problems? Please, Ricky. That’s ridiculous and sad. It’s very possible to separate toughness and violence on the field vs. opponents from the rest of your life. Merlin Olsen did it for years.

  16. whentheleveonbreaks says: Nov 6, 2013 8:28 AM

    One major thing the NFL should look at is when players are forced involuntarily to surrender money to veteran players – if this is an ongoing well-known activity, maybe the rookies can submit a bill to the NFL and get reimbursed for “specialized high intensity training”. When you are making league minimum and the vets are pulling in millions, that’s not fair. Oh, and hats off to Dez for standing up to – what’s his name again? Oh yeah, no longer in the NFL.

  17. thevikes85 says: Nov 6, 2013 8:29 AM

    Ricky Williams is a moron.All his deep thinking he claims to have is idiotic.

  18. klutch14u says: Nov 6, 2013 8:33 AM

    I’m thinking someone just needs a head and a ticket to Utopia.

  19. greenlantern75 says: Nov 6, 2013 8:39 AM

    Amen Florio…Amen…

    I just don’t get why the big defense of Icognito is that Martin is a man and if he can’t deal with a situation like this imposed on him, then he needs to toughen up or lose his job…

    Tell me one other job in the country where accepting being hazed, however the hazer decides to do it, is a pre-requisite for the job.

    All you trolls defending Icognito would be the first ones running to your boss if a co-worker pulled this crap on you.

  20. greenlantern75 says: Nov 6, 2013 8:43 AM

    And for those arguing that you need to be hazed to toughen up and be prepared to take on a D-lineman? And the fact that Martin couldn’t take it means he is not cut out to be an o-lineman?

    Well…let me just say that there are hundreds of o-lineman out there right now who apparently went through the same crap and didn’t say anything….and a lot of them plain suck…so I guess the hazing didn’t take (take the entire o-line for the saints this past weekend for example).

  21. jcampol says: Nov 6, 2013 8:46 AM

    So is the football field considered a hostile work environment? Because I’m willing to bet there are hundreds of hours of archived footage of people being bullied and harassed at work over the years. Better hope this “trailblazer” didn’t blaze that trail. By the way Ricky Williams is the only one speaking the truth on this matter.

  22. bishopbengals says: Nov 6, 2013 8:50 AM

    All of you’re ridiculous. He received death threats from Incognito. This wasn’t as simple as calling him a dummy or something playful, freaking death threats.

    Ricky is stupid for comparing the situations, go smoke another one Ricky.

  23. pksullivanmha says: Nov 6, 2013 9:00 AM

    Bullying anywhere is never acceptable. Martin exposed a dirt bag who needed to be exposed. Good riddance Incognito. @footballady52🏈

  24. jcampol says: Nov 6, 2013 9:07 AM

    All of you people that are taking his “death threat” literally answer me this. How many times a game do you think the words I’m gonna kill you come out of players mouths? If your answer is zero you’re delusional. I’m willing to bet those aren’t actual death threats and no one is really scared for their lives.

  25. tfaulk says: Nov 6, 2013 9:09 AM

    “So as long as it’s an NFL player we’re talking about any level of violence, brutality or belligerence is acceptable and the preferred way of dealing with any and all problems? Please, Ricky. That’s ridiculous and sad.”

    Unclear how you are getting this from what Ricky is saying. Certainly, Ricky was “teased” and “bullied” and never saw a need to respond with violence. It seems like you are completely and totally distorting Ricky’s comments to arrive at a ridiculous statement that is easy to put down. This is called a straw man.

    Ricky is not saying that in the NFL any and all violence is acceptable and the only response is likeminded violence. Trying to claim so is ridiculous and sad.

  26. waldman79 says: Nov 6, 2013 9:14 AM

    Anybody who sees one football player telling another football player that they’re going to “kill” them as a serious death threat or makes comments about your mother has no sense of reality in the sport. Intimidation is a part of it – like it or not. The racial slurs that Incognito supposedly used I can see being an issue but the rest is crap. “Get tough or die” is what I was coached. Don’t like being talked down to, don’t like your momma to be insulted, etc you’re a 300 lb + OT do something about it.

  27. tfaulk says: Nov 6, 2013 9:25 AM

    “Tell me one other job in the country where accepting being hazed, however the hazer decides to do it, is a pre-requisite for the job.”

    I can think of any number of high-pressure demanding jobs where hazing, bullying, toughening up occurs. Whether it’s the military, police force, fire department, construction, various trades (particularly where a union, journeyman relationship, apprenticeship is involved), oil rig work and on and on. Even including high-tech fields like programming where you’re expected to work 100 weeks and devote yourself to the job more than your personal life… Or academic research.

    Basically, any field where there is a high risk to reward ratio and high competition for highly skilled workers, there is likely to be “non-necessary” stresses to solicit what is considered the “ideal” performer.

  28. metintodd says: Nov 6, 2013 9:28 AM

    All the coaches who ordered the ‘Code Red’ should be fired. It is the coaches’ job to toughen up players. It is not their job to leave the toughening up to some immature, delusional nut job who then decides to bully and terrorize the player.

    The coaches got Incognito to do their dirty work? Why? Were they afraid of him too? Did they feel like he was going to be tougher on Martin then they ever could?

    This is an absolute mess of an organization. Is Philbin that clueless that he let this go on under his watch? The coaches should be fired, Incognito should be suspended, and you have to really wonder about the other players in the locker room who thought this was acceptable behavior. Hopefully Martin can come out of this with his reputation intact. As someone who was bullied in HS, he has my sympathy. Goodell needs to get involved pronto.

  29. tfaulk says: Nov 6, 2013 9:32 AM

    “It’s come out that the coaching staff not only knew about it but were the ones who instructed Incognito to harass the kid.”

    None of what you claim is substantiated. Yes, Omar Kelly is reporting that “coaches” instructed Incognito to “toughen up” Marten. This does not necessarily lead to the coaching staff knowing precisely what Incognito did, knowing that Marten wasn’t responding positively to it, or instructing him to do precisely what he did whatsoever. Let’s discuss this because it’s important, but let’s not degrade the value of the discussion by drawing unsubstantiated conclusions based on unsourced rumors to the point where the discussion has no positive, and likely negative, value.

  30. countmahdrof says: Nov 6, 2013 9:44 AM

    A lawyer defending the son of two lawyers who is orchestrating lawsuits against Incognito, the Dolphins and the NFL. Priceless. Mom and Da

  31. dlr4skins says: Nov 6, 2013 9:57 AM

    Not everyone is cut to be an infantry soldier either.

    It is alright to admit not every person can do every job. I’m not defending Incognito’s alleged behavior or past but something tells me that Martin with or without intimidation may not be the right man for the job description.

    This politically correct society would like to have 125 pound men and women play tackle.

  32. the1vito says: Nov 6, 2013 9:57 AM

    The buzz phrase with the Jonathan Martin story seems to be “mental toughness.” How does “mental toughness” equate to one losing one’s cool and fighting someone? Icognito was trying to get under his skin, to get him to “snap;” doing so and fighting Icognito would have shown mental weakness. Intelligence and perspective does not equal weakness. I’m sure someone of Martin’s intelligence, growing up with two attorneys and Harvard-educated parents was probably taught that fighting is not always the answer. It takes true toughness to be able to walk away from the situation.

    Also, it should be noted that based on the evolution of the story, Martin didn’t “tattle” or “run to the media” right away. He left the situation, albeit angrily, but still didn’t give in and fight. He also initially refuted the stories being published last week, saying not to believe “everything you read.” The voicemails, etc., did not come out until Sunday afternoon, six days after he left the team. It also seems that it may have been in response to the team’s formal statement that nothing untoward had occurred and Icognito’s public statements proclaiming total innocence. The reporting should question if and what was going on behind the scenes, even after Martin left the team but before the evidence or portions thereof were released.

  33. varnbo says: Nov 6, 2013 10:04 AM

    I know this is crazy, but can anyone figure out why Martin didn’t stand up for himself?

    Was Martin defenseless, unable to defend himself?

    When are the ref’s going to start throwing flags for bullying?

    Guarantee the PC police are going to pounce on this one.

    Bullying in football, who would have thunk it?

  34. cuda1234 says: Nov 6, 2013 10:04 AM

    Well, I guess that’s settled. No room for debate, just put Incognito in jail. End of story. Glad I came here to learn how to think.

  35. greenlantern75 says: Nov 6, 2013 10:09 AM

    Me: “Tell me one other job in the country where accepting being hazed, however the hazer decides to do it, is a pre-requisite for the job.”
    Tfalk: “I can think of any number of high-pressure demanding jobs where hazing, bullying, toughening up occurs. Whether it’s the military, police force, fire department, construction, various trades (particularly where a union, journeyman relationship, apprenticeship is involved), oil rig work and on and on. Even including high-tech fields like programming where you’re expected to work 100 weeks and devote yourself to the job more than your personal life… Or academic research. Basically, any field where there is a high risk to reward ratio and high competition for highly skilled workers, there is likely to be “non-necessary” stresses to solicit what is considered the “ideal” performer.”
    Ummm…With the exception of the military where you literally sign a contract allowing the government to essentially do anything to you they damn well please, I call BS on the rest up there. There is HUGE difference between being asked to work 100+ hours a week and acceptance of a co-worker calling you insulting names and demanding you relinquish a large portion of your salary so your more tenured co-workers can release some steam at the local strip club. I work in IT and have worked in other crap jobs where hours expectations can seem unreasonable…That is 180 degrees from what is alleged to have happened here. Never realized death threats are made regularly amongst electricians and plumbers too…who knew? Or are you again equating working a few extra hours with someone demanding you give 10% of your paycheck so he can head down to Vegas…

    Not sure how being called the n-word and taking it shows one as a better performer than the rest. But hey…

    And to jcampol who continually states that violence and intimidation on the field means that it is also required off the field as well…It’s one thing to expect and even enjoy the violence / intimidation while you’re on the field and quite another to expect it when you’re sitting at home trying to wind down and getting texts from a co-worker on how he is going to sh*t down your throat…

  36. 1westcoastphinfan says: Nov 6, 2013 10:11 AM

    Excellent comment tfaulk,

    Everybody take a deep breath until the facts are known as opposed to the rumors.

  37. stixzidinia says: Nov 6, 2013 10:22 AM

    Though Williams doesn’t have direct knowledge of any of the facts, he didn’t hesitate to suggest that Martin was in the wrong during an appearance on 95.7 The Game in San Francisco.

    —————-

    Oh and YOU do? LOL ok. You know, I actually agree with you for once as far as this issue goes, but you make it very easy for people who actually agree with you to despise the way you get your points across. You come off as a smarmy, condascending little twerp……especially when it comes top issues you have no real experience with (like football and football culture). I know you never played the game. I know this becuase you claimed to have played “back when there were suspension helmets with clear plastic 2 bar facemasks”. Nope, according to your wiki page you graduated high school in 83. That equipment was no longer in use when you would have played. And Central Catholic High was/is way too affluent to be using any antiquated gear from that era.

  38. fyreandnice says: Nov 6, 2013 10:38 AM

    Ricky Williams’ circumstances aren’t remotely the same as Martin’s. A better comparison would be Ricky and Aldon Smith where it was personal irresponsibility that hurt the team. Ricky is a dumbass. And taught to bully the guy across from them so they win football games? To quote Princess Bride, “I do not think that word means what you think it means.” Playing hard nosed football is NOT bullying, moron.

    Martin probably does need to toughen up but that doesn’t make him wrong with these specific circumstances. Dolphins coaching screwed this up. This seems like the kind of thing that would happen in Tampa more so than say… San Francisco or New England. It’s all too easy to separate the pretenders from the contenders.

    Crawl back into your hole, Ricky, you social nitwit.

  39. fishfan54 says: Nov 6, 2013 10:38 AM

    Reading Ricky’s opinion on the matter was a breath of fresh air. Mike Florio says Ricky doesn’t know any of the facts, yet he actually was a teammate of Richie Incognito’s. He knows him a hell of a lot better than Florio. I wish someone in the media had the balls to take Incignito’s side on this. If Richie is such an insufferable bastard than why does the rest of the team love him. He is clearly not racist at all. All indications are that his former teammates loved him too. Realistically Johnathan Martin is too soft for the league. I believe a lot of media people agree with Ricky but it’s too politically incorrect of an opinion to voice.

  40. tfaulk says: Nov 6, 2013 10:47 AM

    “The buzz phrase with the Jonathan Martin story seems to be “mental toughness.” How does “mental toughness” equate to one losing one’s cool and fighting someone? Icognito was trying to get under his skin, to get him to “snap;” doing so and fighting Icognito would have shown mental weakness.”

    You are making several conclusion that I don’t think most would agree with. Responding to Incognito with mental toughness doesn’t require gihting or losing one’s cool. Again, Ricky is illustrative here. Ricky was the type to respond by laughing, ignoring, doing something unusual. This would have been a demonstration of mental toughness without losing cool or without responding with violence. Likewise, I don’t think many would agree with you that the goal was to make him snap. The goal was to make him not snap or to make him not retreat or cower away. The goal was to get him to perform on the field. There are plenty of mild-mannered, fun players on the Dolphins. They don’t all display “mental toughness” the same way Incognito does nor do they want them to.

  41. utahgetme2 says: Nov 6, 2013 10:50 AM

    How can you possibly take Incognito’s “I’m gonna kill you!” statement to Martin seriously? That is not a death threat, it’s simply hyperbole. No way he meant that. Professional football players have heard and said that phrase throughout their entire lives. Doesn’t mean anything. It’s not like the hyperbole ever becomes reality. No way…
    –Signed, Aaron Hernandez, Rae Caruth, & OJ Simpson (allegedly)…

  42. tfaulk says: Nov 6, 2013 10:57 AM

    ” There is HUGE difference between being asked to work 100+ hours a week and acceptance of a co-worker calling you insulting names and demanding you relinquish a large portion of your salary so your more tenured co-workers can release some steam at the local strip club. ”

    I very much disagree. Firstly, you completely skipped the several fields like law enforcement, fire fighting, and trades where “toughness” and team work are required. I’m not suggesting that 100+ hr work weeks are the only form of hazing, toughening in IT. Nor am I suggesting that it happens everywhere and in every case. But it’s easy to point to, say, the early days of Apple to see a work environment that others would call reprehensible, toxic, and potential illegal whereas the same people within that environment (those that were able to respond to it) would likely call it instrumental to the success of what they were doing.

    Also, I’m not saying that firefighters hazing probies is the exact equivalent of a football player calling a teammate a half-n***a is precisely equivalent. But I am saying that within the relative environments that people within those environments, yes, these forms of hazing, toughening, bullying very much are comparable: they are intended to improve, toughen the worker and/or to build the team… and the recipient may or may not be able to respond and improve or become a part of the team or they may be stressed to the point where the work suffers or the person is personally psychologically affected. No, I don’t professors are puffing out their chests to intimidate fellow professors. But, yes, I think it’s complete nonsense to say that bullying, toughening, hazing, intimidation are not present or not tolerated in any other workplace besides the NFL. That is complete nonsense.

    And again, as others have said, please stop with the death threat nonsense — no one thinks you are making a strong point; everyone thinks you are weakening any intelligent arguments you may have by saying something so stupid.

  43. dehly says: Nov 6, 2013 10:58 AM

    So let me get this straight… Its ok to say and do every nasty thing on the field (if those things were said and done by anyone in normal circumstances it would be harassment and more than likely police would be called and charges pressed) but you cant as soon as you step off the field. Where do we draw the line? acceptable on the field for the whole world to see/not acceptable off the field.

  44. wisconsinhillfolk says: Nov 6, 2013 11:13 AM

    All these homebound yahoos talking tough over the internet. The fact that any of you yutzes make reference to Liberals or Political Correctness in relation to this situation is a clear indication that you are a pimple in the path of progress.

    Excellent post, grandpoopah.

  45. d0minate says: Nov 6, 2013 11:20 AM

    Last I checked, there is no restraining order against Incognito. That one FACT tells you that no one in this situation took the comments seriously. (except of course the media)

    Get real, Last I checked Martin was still alive, and so was his family. Were the comments out of line? Absolutely, were they made 6 months ago when the lazy dude should have been at OTA’s earning his millions, yes they were. Funny how he only comes out now that he was benched. He was obviously looking for the “right time” to make these revelations considering he “blew up” because someone wouldn’t sit with him.

    Sorry, I don’t feel sorry for him.

  46. mcsuave says: Nov 6, 2013 11:36 AM

    Ricky was too high to remember if he was bullied. I feel Martin did the right thing by going public. The team leadership Council was headed by Incognito. You can’t complain there. If you attack Incognito, everyone will say you should have handled it differently. The continuous calls talking about you mother and using the N word would have drove a lot of brothers over the edge on principle. Luckily Martin did not go ballistics and blow his head off. Incognito was called out for being the racist and problem child he has been through College.

  47. bluebongzilla says: Nov 6, 2013 11:39 AM

    The NFL has been selling anti-bullying BS for years and now they’re bullying this guy, characterizing him as something less than a man for bringing attention to bullying. AT THE SAME TIME that the NFL just got through making almost every player and referee wear pink for breast cancer awareness month and let it be WIDELY known that they want to show a softer side of the NFL so they can get more women interested in the game. Hilarious.

  48. tfaulk says: Nov 6, 2013 11:42 AM

    “Ricky was too high to remember if he was bullied.”

    Just plain silly. Too silly to respond to.

    “I feel Martin did the right thing by going public.”

    Okay.

    “The team leadership Council was headed by Incognito. You can’t complain there.”

    You made this up. There is no leader of the Leadership Council which is selected by the team.

    “If you attack Incognito, everyone will say you should have handled it differently.”

    Presupposition that is not necessarily supported.

    “The continuous calls talking about you mother and using the N word would have drove a lot of brothers over the edge on principle.”

    You are completely making up that they were “numerous” never mind “continuous.” Let’s stick to facts or at least something that has been reported by someone, anyone rather than something that you are making up.

    “Luckily Martin did not go ballistics and blow his head off.”

    This doesn’t appear to be going well for Martin. As Ricky said, both appear to be victims. Presupposing that the only recourse Martin had was murdering Incognito is idiotic.

  49. bluebongzilla says: Nov 6, 2013 11:43 AM

    Kicked off of two college teams, cut from two teams that were desperate for OL. Biggest cheap shot artist in the NFL and notoriously racist, drunken dullard, but somebody says this Martin guy is the problem?

  50. genericcommenter says: Nov 6, 2013 11:52 AM

    I have social anxiety disorder. So I’ve felt I could relate some to Ricky (though I choose to remain substance-free), and I’ve defended him a lot in the past. However, his lack of empathy here disappoints me. When you have an anxiety disorder that causes you to have distorted thoughts about how people treat you, it’s pretty amazing to me that one can really make a judgment on if someone is bullied or how they feel.

  51. bluebongzilla says: Nov 6, 2013 11:56 AM

    “Absolutely, were they made 6 months ago when the lazy dude should have been at OTA’s earning his millions”

    Factoid: Players don’t get their salaries in the off-season. They get 17 weekly checks during the season. They do get per diem allowances for training camp, though. He did get a $1.9 million signing bonus but the team is probably making payments on that so I doubt he was an actual millionaire in the off-season.

    If he’d have attacked Incognito for any reason they probably would have suspended him without pay for conduct detrimental to the team and the NFL, and had legal right to deny his bonus. He’d be working at Home Depot with you in no time.

    I agree that if somebody threatens you and your family the proper response is usually going to be getting upside his head but not when it’s a coworker. Contrary to what they’re selling these days, you need to maintain the ability to make a living in this life and nobody should be too quick to throw away a lucrative career. You get him fired first, then you get upside his head.

  52. tfaulk says: Nov 6, 2013 12:14 PM

    “If he’d have attacked Incognito for any reason they probably would have suspended him without pay for conduct detrimental to the team and the NFL, and had legal right to deny his bonus. He’d be working at Home Depot with you in no time.”

    Because any time tempers flair up within a team leading to a physical confrontation, a player is suspended for conduct detrimental to the team… Oh wait, no. Rather than “probably” that should be “improbably”.

  53. realfootballfan says: Nov 6, 2013 12:19 PM

    There’s a couple of things going on with this situation. First thing, you have the clearest picture to why the Dolphins have been irrelevant for nearly 15 years when such nonsense is consuming players instead of simply doing a good job.

    Secondly, Martin has an angle here. We all can agree that Incognito is a scumbag and went far past any reasonable good ribbing. However, for Martin to be holding onto the voice mails, texts, etc without ever going to management at the least and if he was as fearful as he claims, even to the police if he thought the Dolphin hierarchy could not be trusted. Quite frankly, his reaction doesn’t add up although Incognito is still way wrong for what he did, no matter how you slice it.

    Furthermore, if you have coaches involved in recommending that they “toughen” Martin up, you have a whole bigger problem on a level approaching the Gregg Williams debacle in New Orleans where the grown ups aren’t acting like grown ups in the room but rather are diving into the “I’m one of the guys” mentality instead. For some reason, I can’t accept the “he’s a Stanford guy, so that’s why they messed with him” excuse either..

    In Baltimore, I doubt anyone was treating Matt Birq in a similar fashion, and last I checked, he’s a pretty bright guy from Harvard. I doubt such is going on with the Ravens or other high level teams because they are, well worried about winning.

    This seems to point to a long-standing leadership vacuum that begins and ends at Jeff Ireland’s desk, and if Stephen Ross is smart, he cleans house because this is beyond embarrassing and absurd.

  54. jcampol says: Nov 6, 2013 12:56 PM

    @greenlantern75 I’ve never stated violence and intimidation are required off the field. I’m just throwing out there that there really is no line set in this type of environment as to how far is to far. As well as the double standard that seems to be coming to light here. When you tell me its ok to call me names and talk down to me and threaten me with bodily harm during these hours at work, but during these hours its not alright it shows me a huge gray area we are working with here. I’m not condoning what Incognito said however from what we know (which is very little mind you) the transcript we have is work related. He’s speaking to the fact that Martin should have been with his team working out. The way he went about it may not have been the best but how is it different than someone calling him names on the field. Also once this goes to court what is stopping someone else from taking a piece of film that is mic’d up saying they were harassed on the field and they feel like that work environment is hostile now pay me. It’s a very slippery slope here. I wish Martin nothing but the best and I hope he deals with whatever is eating him up inside. But I feel there should have been a different approach to the way this is being handled. Just my opinion

  55. paulr1956 says: Nov 6, 2013 1:28 PM

    I agree that the league needs to send a message to all of the teams that (1) no team can allow this type of harassment and (2) that no player who reports this type of harassment can be blackballed out of the NFL. You can’t do this and get away with it in any other company in this country without risking having a lawsuit against the company.

    Furthermore, the NFL league offices are especially concerned with the image of their brand and have regularly dealt with players, coaches, and other staff who’ve gotten themselves into trouble away from the team. For example, look at how they dealt with Ben Rothlisberger’s past troubles by suspending him.

    Players who regularly test positive for any PED is suspended and the suspensions increase with multiple positive tests. Also, notice also how the League dealt with the “Bountygate” situation in New Orleans.

    The fact is, with the reports coming out in the last several days regarding Incognito’s alleged harassment of Martin and the team’s coaches possibly having knowledge of the situation, it is giving the NFL another black eye in the eyes of the general public and that’s something Goodell will likely have to deal with swiftly and decisively and that will likely be bad news for the Dolphins organization. As Mr. Florio pointed out in a previous article, there could be staff members on their way to the unemployment office in the near future and rightfully.

    Personally, I believe that coaches and other staff knew something about what was going on, even if they didn’t know some of the ugliest details. How could it be hidden when everyone’s together during practices and in the locker room before and after practices and games? Between the coaching staff and players, everyone sees something.

  56. paulr1956 says: Nov 6, 2013 1:35 PM

    realfootballfan says: “However, for Martin to be holding onto the voice mails, texts, etc without ever going to management at the least and if he was as fearful as he claims, even to the police if he thought the Dolphin hierarchy could not be trusted. Quite frankly, his reaction doesn’t add up although Incognito is still way wrong for what he did, no matter how you slice it.”
    _____________________________

    But, what about Martin thinking that he could be dropped off the team and then be blackballed by the rest of the NFL teams? His NFL career is probably very important to him. He wants to play and he wants to have a good NFL career, wouldn’t you agree? I believe he kept everything because a part of him was saying, “I can’t take this anymore and I’m going to do something about it.” and another part was saying, “If I report him (Incognito), they’ll be pissed at me and think I’m a wimp and drop me off the team. Ever other team will think I’m too soft to play this game.” This is a reasonable way to think about Martin’s frame of mind during all of this.

  57. tfaulk says: Nov 6, 2013 2:01 PM

    “This is a reasonable way to think about Martin’s frame of mind during all of this.”

    Not when he chooses to act on it on Sunday after a harmless prank that he played a part in the week before and immediately after being demoted, no, it does not seem like a reasonable way to act.

  58. anotheryx says: Nov 6, 2013 2:05 PM

    So it’s not Richie Incognito who was a savage, it’s all of NFL. Great, glad we cleared that up.

  59. thefirstsmilergrogan says: Nov 6, 2013 2:45 PM

    the reason none of us are in the nfl is because we don’t have the physical and mental makeup to play with the biggest strongest fastest men on the planet.

    at its simplest, football is a sporting version of war, with the acquisition of territory as its goal. achieving this goal requires these physical specimens to do things that, if done on the street, would be a felony. the easily intimidated are discovered, and then taken advantage of. that is the nature of the sport.

    having been in any number of lockerrooms and other all-male venues, the level of conversation and insult in many situations rises to the level of the crap in incognito’s voicemail, with the exception of the racial reference. but, as we know, in certain age groups and populations, that reference is also not that uncommon. when hernandez texted his friend with that reference telling him to come to boston, no one thought much about it, even though hernandez is not african american.

    i don’t know anything for sure about this incident, but then again neither do any of you. but i will say that the comments coming from the people who do know what went on (the dolphin locker room) do not reflect the opinion of the media that incognito is a racist who should be drummed out of the league. so despite the incessant drumbeat, don’t be surprised if the league has to do an about face.

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