Even though both Jonathan Martin and Richie Incognito came out in support of Michael Sam’s announcement that he was gay, Sam’s college coach isn’t sure Miami would be a good landing spot.
In an interview on ESPN Radio, Missouri coach Gary Pinkel singled out the Dolphins situation as one that could be a bad fit for last year’s SEC co-defensive player of the year.
“I think the incident that happened down in Miami with the Dolphins — I don’t know the people involved there, and I’m not really judging them, but when you have a locker room atmosphere like that, when people are verbally being destructive to each other and you call it fun, I think there’s a fine line there,” Pinkel said, via Andrew Abramson of the Palm Beach Post. “I’m not one of the Righteous Brothers here, but we talk to our team all the time about how locker rooms are great in sports, locker rooms are awesome. It’s a great thing about being a member of the team. Guys like to bust each other, go after each other verbally. But there’s a certain point when what you say is hurtful and it doesn’t help the team, it hurts the team.
“If you have that kind of environment where people say anything they want and say mean, awful berating things to people, it probably will not work very well. But if you have a team that respects one another — I may be naive, that’s what we try to do.”
Just as Sam’s football skills might not be a fit for every scheme, his personality might not work in every locker room.
Landing in a stable environment with strong leadership will help. But even though Martin and Incognito won’t be back in Miami, not much about the Dolphins’ last season or this offseason lends itself to the idea that stability and leadership exist there.