CommunityFDL Main Blog

Miami Dolphins: Team Controversy Brings Bullying and Intolerance in the NFL to Light

{!hitembed ID=”hitembed_1″ width=”350″ height=”197″ align=”right” !}
You might have caught wind of the recent Miami Dolphins’ controversy.  While it’s easy to dismiss the dispute as a war between the two players most directly involved -Jonathan Martin and Richie Incognito- in truth the story and the resulting back and forth provide a telling look into the bullying, bravado and intolerance permitted and encouraged by NFL culture. It may be just as tempting to assume that this controversy is a sign of the times, the truth is that the fallout has elicited some insightful commentary on football and the NFL from those in a position to know. I wanted to share some of those items, but beforehand here’s a quick summary of what’s going on.

(Note: Both Gawker and Buzzfeed have extensive summaries that provide a play by play of what’s occurred for those who want to dig deeper.)

In short, the two players involved are 24 year old Jonathan Martin and 30 year old Richie Incognito, both of whom are teammates on the Miami Dolphins NFL football team.  Incognito has a history of violence, a history of bullying, and a history of using racial epithets comfortably under the influence and on the football field.  Martin is said to have been a “friend” of Incognito’s who was subjected to intense bullying by his teammates, and Incognito specifically.  Incognito allegedly was asked by coaches to “toughen” Martin up, which if to be believed, included everything from being called racial slurs to being ridiculed in front of the team.  Martin’s treatment resulted in him having what’s been described as a “breakdown” incited by a table full of his teammates getting up and leaving when he sat down to join them. upon him attempting to join him, which ultimately led to him leaving the team.  The league is currently investigating the particulars of the case but a leaked racially charged and violent voicemail left on Martin’s phone by Incognito was enough to result in his immediate and indefinite suspension from the Dolphins.  Despite mounting evidence that points to an abusive relationship, the members of the Miami Dolphins who have weighed in overwhelmingly did so to voice support for Incognito.

In response, Martin’s counsel released the following statement:

Previous post

Knock Knock: For-Sale Forbes Gets Jesus? Meanwhile Bono Would Profit

Next post

Qatar’s World Cup Spectacle Brought to You by Slavery

Lisa Derrick

Lisa Derrick

Los Angeles native, attended UC Berkeley and Loyola Marymount University before punk rock and logophilia overtook her life. Worked as nightclub columnist, pop culture journalist and was a Hollywood housewife before writing for and editing Sacred History Magazine. Then she discovered the thrill of politics. She also appears frequently on the Dave Fanning Show, one of Ireland's most popular radio broadcasts.