One of the unseemly realities of the Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin bullying reports is that to some degree, the behavior is more common than many would like to accept.
And for evidence of that, look no further than Cardinals linebacker Karlos Dansby, who knew both after playing for the Dolphins last year.
“Richie was a down-to-earth guy,” Dansby told Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic. “I hate all this came out about him. It’s really attacking his character. I hope Martin doesn’t have any backlash from this from the rest of his teammates.”
Expressing sympathy for Martin, the bullied, is a reasonable human emotion. But what appears to be a tacit defense of Incognito seems a bit out of touch at the moment.
Certainly his behavior is being covered more thoroughly now than previously, but Incognito’s reputation preceded him, and Dansby’s current teammates know that too.
“He’s been getting away with a lot of stuff,” Cardinals defensive end Darnell Dockett said. “His whole makeup is playing dirty and trying to hurt guys. Like I say, just Google it up. There are so many incidents where he’s trying to hurt guys and physically bully guys.
“I’m glad certain guys are standing up for themselves. I hope the guy from the Dolphins [Martin] is able to get some help, rebound and continue his career.”
Doing so will require some of his co-workers to not foster an atmosphere in which people who are accused of doing something wrong get a more passionate defense than the victim, or get turned into martyrs of some presumed media witch-hunt.