Incognito Situation Tarnishes the Entire NFL


Learned statesman and all around good samaritan, Richie Incognito needs to go into hiding.

Learned statesman and all around good samaritan, Richie Incognito needs to go into hiding.

Whatever is going on inside the locker room of the Miami Dolphins, isn’t bullying.  Sports outlets around the country keep insisting the term bullying be attached to this story, just to attract readers.  There is no bullying in regards to the Richie Incognito, Jonathan Martin situation.  No.  Call it what it is: criminal.

This isn’t about some 8th grade asshat taking a winter coat from some little kid or putting a weaker child’s head in the toilet.  It isn’t even about catty 14-year-old girls telling some girl to kill herself on Facebook.  These are grown men playing a tough game.  It is also one of the largest money generating businesses in the United States.  A workplace.

Bullies are easy to take care of: one hit to the groin or the face usually does the trick.  They realize they no longer have control and a physical confrontation awaits them at every subsequent meeting.  Happy trails.

Richie Icognito is not a bully.  His position on the Miami Dolphins is one of a veteran player that is supposed to be training and looking after rookie players.  The team had selected him to set an example.  What was truly exposed is that Incognito and others also in his position used his status illegally for personal gain.  That is not a bully.  That is a man who got caught and may in fact stand in front of a judge.

Let’s simplify this: go into your workplace tomorrow.  Use racial slurs, maybe degrade the women in the room,  basically be a scumbag.  But don’t stop there.  Now single out someone you work with, barrage him with texts that you’re going to kill him, go on a business trip with said person and chirp in his/her ear for six hours about the horrible things you’d like to do to that person.  Last but certainly not least, run up a $30,000 strip club tab and try extortion to have your target pay for bill.  Or you’ll kill them.  And make sure this targeted person has been left in your charge to train.  Try it.  You’ll be in jail by 6 p.m.

Not just because that’s the way the world works for everyday occupations, but because supervisors will not allow it to happen.  I’ve been a supervisor for many, many years.  Here’s how I’d handle Richie Incognito:

“Rich, step into my office.  Don’t bother sitting down, you won’t be here long enough.  I’ve compiled enough evidence against you and seen personally what you’ve done to Mr. Martin.  I’m terminating your position here effective immediately, you have one hour to gather your belongings.  After you leave the premises please note I’ll also be calling the police and pressing charges, so I’d stay in the area if I were in your position.  Get out of my office.”  Done.

The uppers at the Miami Dolphins screwed this whole thing up from top to bottom, which was made worse by the fact that the NFL has been completely silent.  For those of you keeping score at home, the NFL is currently concerned with the name “Redskins” and how the POTUS feels about it today.  Also, they have all those pieces of pink flair to collect and sell off, so they’re really busy.  So busy in fact, they can’t form an opinion on whether or not to kick the repugnant pile of shit that is Richie Incognito out of the league for threatning the life of another player.

This isn’t all on Incognito, however.  Let’s be brutally honest and realize that many head coaches in the NFL already knew of this kid in college and his reputation.  Tony Dungy personally put him on his “DNDC” list.  Do Not Draft because of Character issues.  Where this story takes an ugly turn is the supposed veterans defending Incognito.  Mainly, because they were in on the whole thing from the start.  Sources are now learning these actions are the ones of many veterans in the league, all entrusted with overseeing the rookie players.  So what do many of these veterans have to say for themselves?

  •  “This situation should have been handled in the locker room”.
  • “We should be allowed to police our own.  We take a lot of pain at our job.  Normal people shouldn’t be able to make the rules for us.”
  • “[Martin] is a pussy for not being thick-skinned.

What a bunch of complete bullshit.  Nothing should be handled in the locker room.  These psychopaths were the ones that made the problem in the first place.  People in the military, fire and police departments put their lives at risk.  I don’t give a damn how much “pain” an NFL player goes through, they aren’t allowed to break laws when they see fit. It is a work place, not a goddamn frat house.  Hazing may sound good to a drunk college kid majoring in P.E., but at the NFL level, trash like Incognito get into a loop where the true nutjobs try to out haze one another.  This week, it’s wash my car then it slowly amps up to “bring your wife in here”.

You haven’t been on this Earth long enough if you don’t believe that this potentially ends with a target bringing a pistol in and blowing someone’s brains out.  People snap.  We see it every day.

Coach Bill Walsh had a no hazing policy.  He realized just how hard it is to play football for many years and felt one had earned the spot when drafted into the NFL.  Rookies were welcomed into the team as family.  They were selected to be there.  Yet, there still seems to be certain NFL teams that just don’t get it.  Laws apply, even in some dingy locker room.

Meanwhile the NFL stands by and watches everything unfold.  Yes, the Miami Dolphins suspended Incognito indefinitely.  I do realize the NFLPA have a position in this, but the NFL has every right to say they’ll be seeking Incognito’s dismissal from the league.  They haven’t.

Jonathan Martin walked away from the Miami Dolphins.  That was his choice.   That doesn’t make him a pussy, wimp or child.  He did what any law-abiding citizen would have done.  Get out of the situation, then topple them from the outside.  Staying there would have only delayed or covered the problem.  This is a criminal matter.  All the boneheads suggesting Martin should have “just beat Incognito’s ass” don’t seem to get that action puts Martin in jail.  Stop thinking this is a moment on a playground between 12 year olds.  I’m all for a God ordered beat down out of anyone that puts his filthy little rat claws on me.  This is different.  This is a workplace and men’s future’s are at stake.

“Men” such as Incognito need to leave the league.  Not Martin.  And the NFL needs to get a handle on the whole hazing situation, immediately.  Just remember, over a decade ago, drinking water in an NFL training camp also tagged a player as a pussy until Minnesota Vikings lineman Korey Stringer died of heat stroke.  Trust me, none of the “why didn’t we see this problem” cries did any good then, either.  It just robbed a family of a loved one.

The NFL doesn’t defend freedom, rescue kids from burning buildings or catch mass murderers.  As much as I love football, it’s a game.  And when a “locker room situation” spills out into the real world, it should be noted that the laws created by society, still apply.

If you don’t believe me, forward this article to former NFL player Rae Carruth.  See how he feels about it.  He’s got nothing but time.


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