Wednesday, November 13, 2013

My take on the Jonathan Martin Issue

The story of offensive tackle Jonathan Martin, Richie Incognito and the Miami Dolphins has been in the headlines of the NFL for a few weeks now.

The issue of bullying, hazing and an unhealthy work environment are all the reasons combined as to why Martin has taken action and removed himself from the team indefinitely.

All the facts of the case have not been brought to the forefront as the league is conducting further investigation with Dolphins management as well as a face to face sit down with the former Dolphins linemen himself.

Watching the interview between Jay Glazer and Richie Incognito, I took from it a man who was upfront, a man who was sorry, a man who is simply a football "meat head"..even though he denied that specific term.

As a football player since grade school there is no other team sport(besides hockey and rugby) where gladiator and out right spartan type behavior is excepted and accepted as long as it is within the rules and regulations.

A sport where behaving like an animal is looked upon as a positive.

Locker rooms filled with players of different ethnic backgrounds form a bond, a brotherhood and cliques amongst each other. Star players usually hang together, bench guys have their bond and so on and so forth.

Thick skin is developed as early as the first time your teammates get on you for getting "Layed Out". Or getting called soft by your head coach.

It as been engraved in the culture for years and years, the wild antics, the vulgar language, even as recent as Riley Coopers use of the "N" word in the off season to the case we have in front of us now.

I've known and played with many of Richie Incognitos but have never been in the predicament of a Jonathan Martin because as an African American and the way I was raised? I wouldn't not allow it.

Maybe that was all that was needed in this situation was for Martin to step up and say enough is enough. Some argue the fact that he should of had thicker skin.

Is it also a possibility though that it is not easy for some of us speak up or even step up?...If that's the case it doesn't sound like much of a brotherhood to me.

In a sport where I described earlier where "animalistic" behavior is accepted maybe there needs to be a culture change. We must remember this is the same league where off the field issues and arrests are at an all time high.

The priority of the NFL players, as professional athletes should be to do their jobs and conduct themselves as role models on and off the field...No?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
A healthy work environment would sure contribute to that.

We won't know anything until all the facts are out but I will say one thing. Many of us who don't stand for what we truly believe fall right into the trap of accepting whats taking place in front of us and that is whether you like it or not. Not being authentic, not stepping up and pretending to be "one of the guys" until....well this happens.

I'm not sure who I want to say is at fault in this situation.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  I know for a fact that in a league filled with grown men, internal problems should be able to be resolved in house and that "Beast" in all of us should be saved for on the field going to battle with your brothers.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Check out NFL Columnist and ESPN contributor Jarret Bell's take on this situation as well via USA Today:

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