The story of Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin is a very interesting one with many sides to the story. As we have all heard in the news lately, the Miami Dolphins have suspended offensive lineman Richie Incognito due to adult bullying allegations from Dolphins rookie Jonathan Martin. People are always told that bullying stops after high school and life gets better, so what are we to think when we find out that adult bullying is also a problem?
Those who come to the defense of Incognito say that it was just harmless hazing that all Rookies in the NFL go through. I find it hard to believe that it was just harmless hazing due to Incognito’s troubled past and if it was just harmless, then why did Jonathan Martin check himself into a hospital to get treatment for emotional distress? Either Jonathan Martin is the softest football player ever, or Richie Incognito was malicious and really did intend to threaten and terrify Martin.
Having played high school football I saw first hand the kind of stuff that happened inside the football locker room and to be honest there was a lot of hazing going on, but it was all in good fun and we never had any problems with players being injured or emotionally scarred due to the hazing. If teammates had problems between one another, then they would take it out on each other during practice in hitting drills and that would always be the end of it.
It’s is these personal experiences that have led me to believe that maybe Incognito’s intentions were more malicious than everybody thinks. Calling a teammate soft or taunting him in a competitive manner is one thing, but sending threatening and racial texts to them is another. Many NFL players have chimed in on the situation and they all say that hazing is common and it is accepted by everyone as a common practice, but they feel like there is something deeper to this story due to the fact that it so emotionally affected Martin. Do you believe that this was just an innocent form of hazing? Is it OK with you that hazing is a common practice in professional sports?