Ditka calls Martin a “baby”

Getty Images

Last Sunday, ESPN’s Mike Ditka said that Dolphins tackle Jonathan Martin should have punched guard Richie Incognito in the mouth.  (Jeff Ireland approved this message.  And Ditka previously delivered it to Saints tight end Cam Cleeland after his eye socket was crushed by a sock full of coins in a hazing ritual.)

This week, Ditka continued his attack on the man who didn’t physically attack Incognito.

“I want to say one thing,” Ditka said during ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown.  “If I was the coach, I wouldn’t have either Incognito, the bully, or the baby, Martin, on my team.  That’s me.  [Does] that make me right?  No.  That makes me me.  And I would stand up to that, because you don’t do what Martin did and you don’t do want Incognito did.  Period.”

That’s all Dikta had to say during a discussion that featured passionate comments from Keyshawn Johnson, Cris Carter, and Tom Jackson regarding the issue of hazing/bullying in the NFL generally and the Miami situation specifically.

“The NFL locker room is a workplace,” Carter said.  “And the NFL’s committed to the belief that all employees have the right to work in an environment that is free from harassment, intimidation, discrimination, racial or sexual harassment, as well as harassment related to employees based on religion, national origin, age or disability. . . .  When you drive through the gate, give them your IR, you are in an active workplace.  So all these ideas that [in] the locker room you can do this, that is not true.  In an NFL locker room you are not allowed to act like an animal and a savage.”

Johnson addressed the question of whether Martin should have handled the problem internally.

“[T]o hear Coach Philbin say [Martin] could have come to him, no he couldn’t have,” Johnson said.  “Obviously, because he didn’t.  There’s a reason he checked himself into a hospital.  He didn’t just decide one day, ‘Oh, you know what, I’m gonna wake up and go check myself into a hospital because I’m not feeling good.’  No, he checked himself into a hospital because he was disturbed about everything that’s been happening to him over the last year and a half, Coach.”

Jackson took issue with the effort to defend Incognito and criticize Martin.

“The locker room went to great lengths in Miami to shift this conversation from a guy being bullied to a guy being a coward,” Jackson said, a possible slap at Ditka’s characterization of Martin.  “As I watched it, it was so upsetting because they are trying to hold Jonathan Martin equally culpable for what was done to him.  ‘It was done to him because we had to do it.  We needed to toughen this guy up.’ . . . .  This is insane, and it’s going to get more insane by next week when this man again tells what was done to him for a year and a half, which is their greatest fear.  ‘He’s going to tell everything we did to him.’  That’s their fear.”

Ditka remained quiet after sharing his own view that Martin is a baby.  While none of the other guys specifically directed their comments at Ditka or openly disagreed with him, the tension was palpable — and it was hard not to believe that Ditka was told to watch what he said.

As to what Ditka did say, ESPN had no comment.  While far more irresponsible things have been said on ESPN’s airwaves, Ditka’s insistence that Martin, who may be suffering from a real mental illness, is a “baby” represents the kind of comment that could get folks with lesser star power than Ditka removed from ESPN’s airwaves.

63 responses to “Ditka calls Martin a “baby”

  1. Last time I checked theses “locker rooms” were workplaces….. And a hostile workplace is illegal. These football meatheads all forget that.

  2. Um, CC….u mean the field of play, where trash talking and intimidation (by ferocious hitting) happens pretty much every play, r u saying that is illegal now too because it creates a “hostile work environment”?

  3. Highly unlikely that Ditka can be told to be quiet.

    He gave his opinion, and then let the others have their word.

    Why on earth is this an issue?

  4. So Ditka can’t be honest? He can’t let the world know how he actually feels about things? He has to be politically correct and automatically side with Martin because that’s the “popular” opinion?

    What kind of person gets fired for calling another person a baby? Whetehr you agree with Ditka or not you have to respect his right to have an opinion. To fire somebody for disagreeing with their opinion sounds like discrimination to me.

  5. What Jackson and Johnson are claiming was said cannot be reconciled with what Dolphin players actually said.

  6. I agree with Carter. That said, I don’t have a problem with what Ditka said either (because he clearly was just stating an opinion — worse terms than “baby” have been then around).

  7. If Ditka giving an honest opinionated reply to a question is “irresponsible”, then muzzled or censored is what you deem responsible.

  8. All these guys, except Ditka, are hypocrites. They are liars if they never witnessed hazing in the lockers they sat in and didn’t say anything.

  9. Last I knew, one was still entitled to his or her opinion, if the pc police run Ditka off, that doesn’t speak well for the “mothership”

  10. Without Buddy Ryan’s defense, Mike Ditka would be wallowing in obscurity today and no one would care what he says about anything.

    THE most overrated NFL coach in the entire history of the league.

  11. Ditka should be fired imediately. No question at all about it. His comment is nothing short of hate speech. And “freedom of speech” is not an issue here. He works for ESPN and has to follow their rules. Ditka is a vile and disgusting man and someone needs to stand up to his bullying.

  12. It doesn’t surprise me that Ditka would say that. He says what he feels. And Martin IS a baby. This is the NFL, man. Grow a pair and stand up for yourself. Thumbs down if you’re a baby, too.

  13. I admire Ditka for speaking his mind. Heck TJ says some pretty outrageous things on a weekly basis, and ESPN doesn’t seem to mind it!

  14. Right, because in no workplace environment is it acceptable to have someone saying mean things to you in an effort to toughen you up. Am I right or am I right Marines? I’m sure your DI never said anything mean or racially insensitive during boot camp. Right? This whole thing is a poorly concocted joke. David Martin checking into the hospital was step 1 of his lawyer’s instructions for building a case against the NFL/Dolphins.

  15. Ditka’s comments were correct in my opinion.

    Johnson’s comment about Martin not being able to go to Philbin is a joke. Was he stopped? Was he told to never talk to the coach about such things? I doubt it. The issue is that Martin said nothing. The first time the Dolphins were told there was a problem with how Martin was treated it was by a lawyer and/or his agent…AFTER he left the team. The real issue is not that he COULDN’T go to the coach it’s that he DIDN’T by choice.

    Jackson’s comment: “The locker room went to great lengths in Miami to shift this conversation from a guy being bullied to a guy being a coward” is false. The players all said they felt shocked that he felt that way because it did not appear so AS IT WAS HAPPENING.

    So far, EVERYTHING that Martin has complained about HE HAS DONE HIMSELF very recently. Hazing/jokes on other players, vile messages, threats to murder family members (weird how Martin can feel they were literal threats but his aren’t considered to be that way), etc. The difference is Martin snapped and has systematically attempted to deflect attention away from his abandonment of the team. It’s despicable. Martin is a manipulator more than he is a victim and as more facts come out it seems more and more obvious.

  16. Ditka looks like Milton from Office Space with those new glasses. I keep waiting for him to ask Berman if he has his stapler.

  17. The more you hear, the more you think that Martin is a whiner and wants to collect on a big lawsuit. Martin is reported that have said and done the same things to others as he’s alleging was done to him. If that’s the case then Martin is a two-faced loser and hypocrite.

  18. The Dolphins have made it pretty clear by their public statements that handling this internally was not going to be an option for Martin. The only option left is for Martin to do it the way he did. Ditka sounds like those congressman telling Snowden he should have handled it internally.

  19. ‘He’s going to tell everything we did to him.’ That’s their fear… Really and 3 days after Martin left the team he sends this Tex tot Richie and I quote…. I DON’T BLAME YOU GUYS AT ALL. IT’S JUST THE CULTURE AROUND FOOTBALL AND THE LOCKER ROOM GOT TO ME A LITTLE.’

  20. Shocker. The Mickey Mouse network expected ditka to give a sanitized, PC, Mickey Mouse comment.

  21. Well, exactly WHAT did the suits at ESPN THINK a man with the NFL name “IRON MIKE” was going to utter?! If they didn’t have a pretty good idea of his position, they SHOULD have, and if they didn’t want him to GIVE his opinion, then they shouldn’t have provided an opportunity. My god, he’s MIKE DITKA!!

  22. Lets ban together to console and hug Martin guys! I cannot believe so many of you don’t just want to reach out and rub Martins back while we hug him. He needs to be consoled, comforted and rubbed. All you tough guys need to step to the progressive side of things (the presidents side, we elected him TWICE). We are progressing forward and Martin needs to be consoled, lets get behind him and rub him guys. Lets make thing better for him.

  23. Ditka’s opinion isnt exactly one that many people in and outside of the NFL agree with. And he’s also not the most intelligent person on the pregame shows either. I wish they would conduct IQ tests before hiring some of these pregame commentators.

  24. Good for Ditka, because Tom Jackson needs to shut the hell up. I support Mike all the way, Martin is a big baby. He walked out because he couldn’t stand the heat, what a shame. ESPN think they are holier than thou, and they suck. Fox Sports did a better job on the whole Incognito deal, ESPN are just biased and except for Ditka they keep rambling on.
    Chris Berman is more boring than boring, and anyone would think Chris Carter was a “saint”. He’s had plenty of past problems.

  25. We need to all hug each other more. I’m pretty sure hugs can even solve the Middle East problems.

    No one should ever EVER fight. If you don’t like something, go tell someone, and they will fix it for you.

  26. thefox61 needs to get his facts right. First what has Ditka trading picks got to do with anything on this page. Secondly it was Ricky Williams you idiot, in case you have no brain, Ricky Martin is a singer!!

  27. How come no one on the team has said Martin came to them to talk about these problems? Was every person on the team against him? Maybe if you alienate EVERYONE on the team, it’s not the team that has the problem. Maybe it’s you. There wasn’t one person to talk to? All jobs aren’t for all people. He should take the money he gets from the lawsuit and go away.

  28. Meatheads every one. And I’m not referring to Incognito or Martin. Since when did Mike Ditka, Keyshawn Martin, Cris Carter & Tom Jackson become the moral authority?

  29. Ditka can say whatever he wants as long as he doesn’t commit the ultimate crime and offend some minority group.

  30. I haven’t heard all what’s been said on the tv but Ditka is the only one who I have heard that pretty much has it spot on. Both players need to go, Incognito for all his various acts of madness over the last couple of years and Martin for being a choker. These muppets on these panels ex players, coaches Ditka aside from what I have heard are all sitting there thinking, there go I but for the grace of god, if we had a Martin and an Incognito in our locker = same mess.

  31. Keyshawn, Chris Carter and Tom Jackson are not worth listening to right now. They are all so righteous it’s horrible. At least big Mike said it how it is, way to go Mike.

  32. It seems obvious that Florio has an agenda against Ditka and his conservative political beliefs. Do you remember when he vetoed Ditka off the Bears Mt. Rushmore?

  33. They were talking about hazing period. That it happens and it doesn’t usually get as crazy as it has in Miami. They all shut up when Carter talked about players mentality. That instead of seeking help by checking into psychiatric care, he could just as easily decide to bring a gun to the locker room. Lots of players pack heat these days. It’s not the Ditka days of punching someone in the face…

    Unless you’ve been in Martin’s shoes for a year and a half it’s best to keep your judgement to yourself.

  34. It might be time for ditka to retire, he looked pretty weak today . We need to replace him with another hyena laughing ex jock buffoon

  35. Mike Ditka is an idiot, and he proves that every week he’s on television. I don’t care if he won a Super Bowl. That didn’t happen because of any coaching genius on his part. Buddy Ryan won it for him. After he moved on, he all but trashed the Saints franchise. Ditka has absolutely nothing interesting or valuable to add to the conversation. All he does is rail about how “old school” he is and how things used to be. He is incapable of growth or creative thought, and he should be replaced by someone with at least half a brain.

  36. So to summarize, all the black guys are supporting the black guy and waiting for the union and/or government to bail him out. Nice.

  37. This is a “cause celeb” is that ESPN is gladly taking on as it works the bigger social issue of “bullying”. Incognito presents the perfect villian… Big, mouthy, intimidating. Martin on the other hand is the perfect victim…quiet, mild mannered, meek. Ignoring facts, context, perspective and truth ESPN ramrods the issue to create a storyline that in their enlightened minds teaches us a lesson on social behavior. Stuff a sock in it ESPN and you Hypocrite ex-jock talking heads who are all to willing to build your post NFL careers on the ruins of those still playing. What a despicable lot you are!

  38. “notwhoyouthinkitis says: Nov 10, 2013 4:27 PM

    Ditka should be fired imediately. No question at all about it. His comment is nothing short of hate speech. And “freedom of speech” is not an issue here. He works for ESPN and has to follow their rules. Ditka is a vile and disgusting man and someone needs to stand up to his bullying.”

    Do you have a problem with Bill Parcels who would often bully reporters and infer or flat out call them stupid just like Ditka did?

    How about Herm Edwards when he essentially called a reporter stupid with his famous, “HELLO! YOU PLAY TO WIN THE GAME….” tirade?

    Do you have a problem with Marshawn Lynch saying out loud within earshot of a camera after a hard tackle, “Yeah, I’ll see you tonight in the street, MF’er…HOOD!”

    Any former NFL player saying now that the locker room is like a church where nothing untowards happens are liars. This kind of stuff happens ALL THE TIME in ALL LEVELS of Football.

    That’s the reality.

    By the way, I don’t see many reports that are bashing Icognito re-printing a text from Martin to Incognito:

    Martin: “I will murder your whole (expletive) family.”

    Sure, Incognito is the psychopathic bully in this and Martin is some innocent choir boy.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.