Who thought that their would be actual BULLYING in a professional league? The public was shocked when Jonathan Martin left the Miami Dolphins in a fit of rage and we was more shocked on the reasons why he left; it has been reported that he was being bullied by other teammates and it seems like Miami Dolphins guard Richie Incognito was the potential ring leader (it’s also been reported that center Mike Pouncey was also involved.
It all started with a report that a fellow offensive lineman called Martin over to sit with him at the table they were eating at, when Martin put his plate down to sit, that is when the players at the table got up and left him to sit by himself; that is when Martin lost it, yelled at the players and stormed off the Dolphins training facility. Martin has no plans to return to the team at this point, sources said, focused on getting himself well and waiting to see if the Dolphins take action in this manner. They have not adjusted his status or done anything to dock his pay to this point, nor has the team taken any action to ensure a safer and normal workplace environment for him, should he return. Until the Dolphins take action, Martin’s position is unlikely to change. It is likely that the team will place Martin on the non-football-injury list Tuesday.
Last week’s flare-up between Martin and his teammates, “was not an isolated incident — not even close,” one source said. “It’s been going on almost since they drafted him.” Other players on the team said it was fairly widely known within the team that the offensive linemen were hard on Martin, a second-round pick in 2012, and Martin has expressed his displeasure with the situation in the past.
Hazing in major league sports is supposed to be used as a building block to unite the newcomers in the league with their veteran teammates and is a rite of passage, but this has continued well into Martin’s second season in the NFL and was personal and different from what the rest of the team’s 2012 rookie class might have gone through, sources said. The Dolphins’ team management has been made aware of the timeline of events as well. The culture of the NFL states that you are not a veteran player AFTER your first season in the league, but after you have put in 20 games under your belt; Martin had only 16 games notched up; so as some teammates were through hazing Martin, Incognito and other linemen thought differently and kept pursuing to haze Martin.
Incognito is strongly denying any role in the matter on social media.
— Richie incognito (@68INCOGNITO) November 3, 2013
The Dolphins issued a statement Sunday morning saying that “the notion of bullying is based on speculation and has not been presented to us from Jonathan or anyone else internally”
But among the texts that Jonathan Martin made available to his parents, and then, eventually the Dolphins and the NFL, include those in which Richie Incognito refers to Martin, who is biracial, as a “half-n*****,”
Hey wassup, you half n***** piece of ****. I saw you on Twitter, you been training ten weeks. I want to **** in you ******* mouth. I’m going to slap your ******* mouth. I’m going to slap your real mother across the face (laughter). ****you, you’re still a rookie. I’ll kill you.
With this evidence and the history of Incognito in college and in the pros, how can anybody believe that he has nothing to do with Martin leaving the Dolphins and seeking help. After the Dolphins seen the evidence, they suspended Incognito indefinitely. “We believe in maintaining a culture of respect for one another and as a result we believe this decision is in the best interest of the organization at this time. We will continue to work with the league on this matter.”
According to Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports, Martin will begin his therapy today in California.
Richie incognito’s timeline – anything but INCOGNITO
*In the NCAA
Spring of 2003 – Suspended by Nebraska coach Frank Solich
June of 2004 – Convicted of misdemeanor assault charge stemming from an incident at a party.
September of 2004 – suspended indefinitely by Nebraska coach Bill Callahan for repeated violation of team rules.
October of 2004 – Dismissed from Oregon football program after transferring to school in September.
**In the NFL
2009 season – Voted NFL’s “Dirtiest Player” (in a poll of NFL players by Sporting News)
December of 2009 – Released by Rams after 2 personal foul penalties and for arguing with coach Steve Spagnuolo.
December of 2011 – Raiders DT Richard Seymour fined $10K for punching Incognito during a game.
August of 2013 – Texans DE Antonio Smith suspended for Week 1 for swinging helmet at Incognito during a preseason game.
With this type of history you would wonder “why does the Miami Dolphins have him on their team?” We have to understand that Incognito is a very good player for his position; he’s efficient and plays very physical he’s the type of player that will play AFTER the whistle, which you will love if he’s on your team or hate if you’re the opposition. Incognito made it to the Pro Bowl last season and seemed to turn the corner for the positive when it comes to his behavior, I think there was stuff going on that the players were trying to cover up that finally came out in an explosion last week.
Who’s to blame?
I have to put the blame on the whole Dolphins organization, not just Richie Incognito or the fellow offensive linemen. As the media dig deeper into the Dolphins culture, it is getting uglier by the minute, and according to Dolphins and Miami Herald reporter Adam Beasley, the dysfunction in the locker room has been there for sometime now.
According to Beasley, the Miami nightlife and South Beach culture has taken over the Dolphins locker room. Beasley reports that un-named Dolphins players have made rookies spend $30,000 to $40,000 on dinner tabs; The rookie minimum this year is around $400.000. An unnamed rookie stated that he is going broke paying for dinner tabs.
Everything tastes better when rookies pay for it pic.twitter.com/KGaisEfap2
— Jared Odrick (@JaredOdrick98) November 2, 2013
I blame the veteran players for situations like this. They used to be rookies and with the new CBA in place where rookies don’t make nearly as much as they did in the past, they should know that there should be a limit put in place on what a rookie have to do, have to bring and have to pay. The older veterans are the “leaders of the locker room” and have to know and understand that the locker room has its own rules and regulations that the coaches don’t know about and it is up to them to monitor the level on how far teammates can go. If Incognito was that “veteran leader”, we know why the locker room went awry.
I’ve heard former NFL head coach and ESPN NFL analyst Herman Edwards state that when he was coaching in the NFL, he would call a meeting with the trainers, equipment personnel and strength coaches and told them that he “doesn’t want them to be snitches, but if something comes up that is out of the ordinary and it is something serious that I need to know about it….I WANT TO KNOW ABOUT IT.” This is where the Dolphins organization failed, even though head coach Joe Philbin seemed to have turned the team back to winning again, there were some things in the locker room he just turned a blind eye to; there was no way you can tell me he didn’t know about half of the stuff that was going on between the rookies and veteran players. This needed to stop ASAP because he has to understand that you have to depend on the rookies to help your team win games.
Hopefully Jonathan Martin will get back to health mentally and they can put the Richie Incognito fiasco behind them and coach Philbin can truly change the culture of the team, and I mean more than winning games….change the camaraderie and team chemistry OFF the field.
We will see.