Several players on the Dolphins have spoken out in support of their suspended teammate Richie Incognito, but around the league he is not viewed favorably.
An ESPN poll of players suggests that the majority would prefer not to play for Incognito: ESPN asked 72 players (three per team on 24 teams) whom they would rather have as a teammate, Incognito or Jonathan Martin. Only 15 said Incognito, while 34 said Martin and 23 said they wouldn’t want either one of them as a teammate.
Most of the players asked said they had never been hazed in the NFL, and that they had never provided money as a result of being hazed. However, 28 of the 72 players surveyed said they had spent their own money because of pressure from teammates, with amounts ranging from $40 to bring donuts to a team meeting to thousands of dollars for expensive dinners. The most any player said he had been required to spend by teammates was $18,000.
The lack of support for Incognito (who in other surveys of NFL players has been voted one of the dirtiest players in the league) suggests that there are a lot of locker rooms where he wouldn’t be welcome. If the reports that the Dolphins have already decided to move on from Incognito are true, this poll could be bad news for Incognito’s chances of catching on elsewhere.
But the lack of support for Martin also suggests that part of the culture of the NFL is that players are supposed to keep these things in house, and not make waves.