When someone thinks of bullying, most people picture a grade school setting. No one pictures professional athletes bullying each other, until two weeks ago.
When Miami Dolphins’ offensive tackle Jonathan Martin left the team and checked into a hospital for emotional distress, Martin attributed his absence to bullying from his teammate, offensive guard Richie Incognito.
It was revealed that Incognito had left an explicit voicemail for Martin, which was racist and profanity laden.
There have been reports through ESPN sources that some Dolphins’ coaches wanted Incognito to “toughen” Martin up.
Another report surfaced in which Dolphins’ General Manager Jeff Ireland suggested that Martin “punch” Incognito.
Either way, it has become clear that Martin did not feel comfortable telling anyone in the Dolphins’ organization about the extent to which Incognito had taken this bullying.
Since the story has become public, several Dolphins’ players have spoken out.
Surprisingly, many have offered their support for Incognito. Specifically, African-American players Mike Wallace and Cameron Wake claim they know Incognito is not racist and did not mean to bully Martin.
In fact, several Dolphins’ players claim Martin and Incognito were close and Martin was like Incognito’s little brother.
However, Incognito has stayed mostly silent since the incident has become public. This is not the first time that Incognito has been in trouble.
He was dismissed from his college team and cut by the St. Louis Rams for problems with drug abuse. It has been widely reported that a reason the Miami Dolphins picked up Incognito was to “change the culture and toughen up our team.”
It appears that the Dolphins have done that — changed the culture. It does not appear to be for the better though.