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Whitner: Hazing not an issue for 49ers

San Francisco 49ers strong safety Whitner brings down Jacksonville Jaguars running back Jones-Drew in the third quarter during their NFL football game at Wembley Stadium in London Reuters

The subject of hazing (or in this case bullying) players in locker rooms has come front and center this week due to the interactions between Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin of the Miami Dolphins.

Martin left the team while Incognito was suspended by the Dolphins.

Hazing obviously isn’t anything new in the NFL. It’s not unusual from rookies or young players to have to carry the pads and helmets of veterans in from practice or make food runs for their teammates. However, the incidents between Incognito and Martin have clearly crossed a line of general ribbing of a teammate to abject disrespect and belittling.

While the story with the Dolphins continues to evolve, the San Francisco 49ers don’t have to deal with such issues.

49ers safety Donte Whitner joined Alex Marvez and Bill Polian on Sirius XM NFL Radio and said there isn’t any disconnect between teammates in San Francisco.

We don’t have those types of issues,” Whitner said. “I can honestly say this is one of the closest football teams, one of the closest groups of men I’ve ever been around. We play and we have fun but we know not to cross certain boundaries. We know not to cross respect boundaries and sexuality boundaries and disrespect individuals. So we understand that.”

Whitner said head coach Jim Harbaugh set down an edict that the team wouldn’t even partake in the normal hazing rituals found in NFL locker rooms.

“It came from coach Harbaugh saying from day one we’re not going to do it,” Whitner said. “The players, we really don’t care to do it. We care more so about incorporating a rookie into our system to help us win football games and everything else that really goes on we don’t care for.”

Whitner said he feels the situation in Miami clearly crossed a line and it’s something he believes doesn’t have a place in the NFL.

“As far as other teams, I understand that people do hazing and they do stuff like that and that goes on in locker rooms but if what was going on and said was happening, that’s totally wrong,” Whitner said. “We understand there’s nothing we can do about that but around the league, things like that go on on the teams. I don’t feel like it’s right. Nobody in our locker room feels like it’s right and we feel like something should be done about it.”

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22 Responses to “Whitner: Hazing not an issue for 49ers”
  1. ziggystheansah says: Nov 6, 2013 12:47 AM

    It’s Hitner

  2. thestrategyexpert says: Nov 6, 2013 12:47 AM

    Good. Keep it that way. No need to talk about it, it should be routine.

  3. lumjack32 says: Nov 6, 2013 12:52 AM

    This hazing issue is a clear differentiator between good franchises and crappy ones.

  4. whatevnfl says: Nov 6, 2013 1:07 AM

    Like them or not, that’s leadership that comes from the top, Harbaugh and Baalke, things are handled internally, and the players respect and are focused on winning. Miami has a total lack of leadership, a GM and head coach with limited people skills, at least from their total social awkwardness shown on Hard Knocks, and a dysfunctional locker room. Not every player responds the same way – good leaders create an atmosphere that is inclusive and where players can thrive and feel supported.

  5. d0minate says: Nov 6, 2013 1:10 AM

    The more we learn about the Martin situation, leads us more and more to believe he is just a whiny little ‘emotionally challenged’ lawyers kid.

    Toughen up, and get your rich mediocre butt to OTAs

    Man, if you had saved crap friends throw at each other all the time, we would all look like crap at some point in our lives. Guys will be guys

  6. asimonetti88 says: Nov 6, 2013 1:13 AM

    One of my good friends played under Coach Harbaugh at the University of San Diego and said that he is the best leader he has ever met, whether in his athletic, academic or professional life. I know non-49ers fans don’t particularly care for him, but he is a good leader and I’m not surprised at all that he won’t tolerate BS like what happened to Jonathan Martin.

  7. kaeprulestheworld says: Nov 6, 2013 1:46 AM

    Harbaugh runs a tight ship in the Bay Area.

    Love it

  8. thegrigga49 says: Nov 6, 2013 2:07 AM

    First class organization from top to bottom. Go Niners.

  9. rrthomasxyz says: Nov 6, 2013 2:19 AM

    Interesting that Harbaugh and Carroll explicitedly stated that there would be no hazing of any kind on their teams while Miami coach Philbin failed to make that declaration to the Dolphins. It sounds like he never had control of his team. Silence equals complicity.

  10. Smarterthanyou says: Nov 6, 2013 3:43 AM

    Hazing isnt an issue. But alcoholics, stabbings, shooting guns at people, dirty urine, whining, criminalistic fanbase, and dopers ARE a problem for this team

  11. pencilmonkeymagic says: Nov 6, 2013 5:52 AM

    Moral compass from someone who’s trying to change his name to Hitner.

  12. rodgersrodgersheisking says: Nov 6, 2013 6:36 AM

    Isn’t his name Hitner now?

  13. getsome636 says: Nov 6, 2013 8:20 AM

    I guess smashing bottles over a teammate’s head is better than hazing. What a joke the niners are. Like dumping a QB that is 9-0 now for a guy that hasnt thrown for 200 yards since week one.

  14. dirtyjersey9er says: Nov 6, 2013 10:17 AM

    “I guess smashing bottles over a teammate’s head is better than hazing. What a joke the niners are. Like dumping a QB that is 9-0 now for a guy that hasnt thrown for 200 yards since week one.”

    So what you’re saying is Kaep has been playing like the guy who was 9-0 did before he was injured last season?

  15. fyreandnice says: Nov 6, 2013 10:57 AM

    Niners have scored 30+ points in each of their five consecutive wins and you’re seriously complaining about the passing yards?? Trolls do what trolls do I guess.

  16. mcsuave says: Nov 6, 2013 11:47 AM

    League should ban all forms of hazing. Why should a guy have to be degraded for a year while attempting to learn his craft and position? Leaders lead and set the tone for the team. I don’t understand the logic of having my head totally in the game after my team mates just forcibly shaved it.

  17. jayniner says: Nov 6, 2013 12:39 PM

    This is what true professionals and classy football players do and say:

    “It came from coach Harbaugh saying from day one we’re not going to do it,” Whitner said. “The players, we really don’t care to do it. We care more so about incorporating a rookie into our system to help us win football games and everything else that really goes on we don’t care for.”

  18. realfootballfan says: Nov 6, 2013 12:43 PM

    Of Course they don’t. They’re too busy with winning football games.

  19. tremoluxman says: Nov 6, 2013 12:59 PM

    I have to laugh at all the Macho Men ripping Martin for being soft and how guys in the NFL have to man up and take abuse from teammates. Like there’s no other way to be a man, play hard, support your teammates, or win games. Some neanderthals seem to think you can’t be a man unless you fulfill some masculine fantasy where you’re swinging you D**k all over the place and acting like a jerk.
    There’s a huge difference between joking around and pranking a guy and demeaning, embarrassing, and abusing a guy.It doesn’t matter if he weighs 320 lbs. or 120 lbs. If all your coworkers are the same weight or out weigh you, the result is the same. It isn’t about merely having your fee-fees hurt.

  20. getsome636 says: Nov 6, 2013 1:35 PM

    dirtyjersey9er says:
    Nov 6, 2013 10:17 AM
    “I guess smashing bottles over a teammate’s head is better than hazing. What a joke the niners are. Like dumping a QB that is 9-0 now for a guy that hasnt thrown for 200 yards since week one.”

    So what you’re saying is Kaep has been playing like the guy who was 9-0 did before he was injured last season
    ———————–
    Nope, Alex Smith was one of the highest rated when he got hurt. Kaep is down at the bottom in QB ratings. And he is 30th in yards per game. That is not going to win any championships, unless you get to play the Rams, Jags and Titans in the playoffs.

  21. deelron says: Nov 6, 2013 2:55 PM

    Nope, Alex Smith was one of the highest rated when he got hurt. Kaep is down at the bottom in QB ratings. And he is 30th in yards per game. That is not going to win any championships, unless you get to play the Rams, Jags and Titans in the playoffs.

    ———

    He’s currently ranked 16 in QB rating (ahead of Smith), 10th in DVOA (ahead of Smith), and 4th in QBR (way ahead of Smith, for whatever QBR is worth. Guess the Chiefs are screwed too.

  22. whatwhat2013 says: Nov 7, 2013 1:40 PM

    Ahmm he did cross those said boundaries during his Super Bowl interviews. Hypocritical.

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