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It's not looking good for Incognito.

First, some background for those of you who may not follow football:

Last year, Miami Dolphin's tackle Jonathan Martin left the team, later claiming that he faced bullying and other indignities from his teammates on and off the field.

Richie Incognito was, according to Martin, the "ringleader," for lack of a better word, of the bullying.

Surprising no one, Incognito claimed that the accusations were false, and although he did call Martin the N word, to judge [him] by that one word is wrong.

“It sounds like I’m a racist pig. It sounds like I’m a meathead. It sounds a lot of things that it’s not. And I wanted to clear the air just by saying I’m a good person,” Incognito said. “I’m embarrassed by my actions, but what I want people to know is the way Jonathan and the rest of the offensive line, and our teammates, how we communicate, it’s vulgar. . . . People don’t know how Jon and I communicate to one another.”

Incognito noted that many of his teammates, white and black, have said they support him.

“If I was a racist and I was bullying Jon Martin, when the press went in there and asked questions, that locker room would have said, ‘Listen, we saw this, we saw that.’ I’m proud of my guys for having my back and telling the truth,” Incognito said.

For what seems like the longest time, the only thing the public has had to go on is the he said/he said version of the story. Predictably, most football fans took a strong position on the case either for or against Martin. Even Brett Favre chimed in to offer such eloquent words as "“You have to be kidding me[...]Pro football? Bullying? It’s the toughest sport, most violent. Not to mention you’re men. So it’s not like it’s a little 12-year-old on a playground."

So the Dolphins said they were going to investigate and NFL fans expected nothing to come of it.

There was frustratingly little to go on for a long time, until the text messages between the two men were released.

Most sports reporters guffawed at the texts, opining that it seemed like a normal relationship  between two NFL players and if this is the bombshell, there was no there there.

I read all the texts and disagreed.

11/5/2012 16:43
U down for t's
Richie Incognito
11/5/2012 16:44
Nah I'm grossed out by prostitutes
Jonathan Martin
11/5/2012 16:45
Haha! U cunt
Richie Incognito
11/5/2012 16:45
They're strippers who go the extra mile
Richie Incognito
11/5/2012 16:47
That's an interesting way to put it, but
loose vaginas that get pounded by
multiple cocks everyday don't do it for me
Jonathan Martin
11/5/2012 16:50
They don't get pounded all day. How
many people do you know willing to drop
$700. We're dumb enough to spend it.
Not everybody get the VIP treatment.
Richie Incognito
11/5/2012 16:55
I can hear the wheels spinning in ur head
Richie Incognito
11/5/2012 16:54
You might be right
Jonathan Martin
11/5/2012 16:55
Haha shut up
Jonathan Martin
11/5/2012 16:55
It's good 4 u
Richie Incognito
11/5/2012 16:58
Nah all I can picture is the std slide show...
That shit scarred me
Jonathan Martin
1/6/2013 1:30
Don't blame ur gay tendancies on [
Richie Incognito
1/6/2013 1:30
I'm gonna get more bitches in 2 nights
than all of you combined
Jonathan Martin
1/6/2013 1:33
Stop it. By bitches u mean cocks in ur
Richie Incognito
1/6/2013 1:34
U fucking mulatto liberal bitch
Richie Incognito
1/6/2013 1:34
I'm going to shit in ur eye
Richie Incognito
1/6/2013 1:35
Goodnight slut
Richie Incognito
1/6/2013 1:35
Tell ur squirting sister I said hi
Richie Incognito
1/6/2013 1:37
Ah yes I missed being demeaned by you
boys lol... Can't wait for this weekend
Jonathan Martin
Well, others may see it differently, and others will certainly claim I took these out of context, but as I read ALL texts between Martin and Incognito, I couldn't help but detect homophobic and racist comments, and less than subtle threats in Martin's direction.

Still, NFL fans have by and large claimed that we didn't know the full story.

Well, now we know the (PDF warning) whole story, and it's not pretty.

(I believe I'm within fair use rights by quoting the below excerpts from the 148 page report, but if I am mistaken please let me know.)

Here is the story as the independent investigator saw it:

Jonathan Martin is a professional football player who began the 2013 season as the starting left tackle for the Miami Dolphins of the National Football League. On Monday, October 28, 2013, midway through the season, Martin abruptly walked out of the Dolphins’ practice facility and checked himself into a nearby hospital, requesting
psychological treatment.

As an initial matter, Martin developed an odd but seemingly close friendship with Incognito. Not only did both linemen report that they enjoyed socializing together, the
evidence also shows that they often communicated in a vulgar manner. Incognito contends that the conduct about which Martin complains was part of locker
room banter meant in good fun and that Martin was a willing and active participant in verbal sparring, never letting on that he was hurt by it. Martin claims that at times he participated in off color joking with Incognito and others in an attempt to fit in, with the hope of reducing the treatment he found offensive.

According to our consulting expert, a psychologist who focuses on matters of workplace conduct, such a reaction is consistent with the behavior of a victim of abusive treatment.

The startling thing about the report is that Incognito does not deny any of the allegations, but rather sees them as harmless fun and just part of the locker room. And there were other victims of the bullying, including "Player A" who was constantly subjected to homophobic taunts, although Incognito and others did not believe he was gay. There was also a personal trainer of Japanese descent that faced daily taunts about his heritage. Again, Incognito does not deny any of these allegations but downplays them as though there was never any harm intended.

The report continues:

We also find the treatment of the Assistant Trainer particularly troubling because he was not a fellow football player but a subordinate, a member of the training staff. In our view, it is likely that the Assistant Trainer felt that he had no standing or ability to fight back, and feared the loss of his job if he protested and the players did not take kindly to his complaints. Again, as with Player A, we view the treatment of the Assistant Trainer as part of a pattern of abusive, unprofessional behavior.
Again, the report is 148 pages, each one detailing instances of bullying and abuse, and contemporaneous texts between Martin and his parents that corroborate his story that the bullying was going too far and causing him great distress. The final straw came on October 28, 2013:
Although media reports have focused only on Martin’s response to a juvenile cafeteria prank (in which his teammates all got up from a table at dinner as he approached) , Martin told us that he had been mocked throughout the day before he left, including with racially derogatory language, and that these taunts, in addition to the cafeteria prank, caused him to boil over.

He claimed that in a meeting room early in the day, he heard taunts from Incognito that included “stinky Pakistani,” which made him “almost fed up.” Later, when Martin arrived in the cafeteria for dinner around 6 pm, most of the offensive linemen, including Incognito, were already sitting together at a table. The evidence shows that while Martin was waiting in line for food, Incognito called out to him from the table, saying that Martin was a “stinky Pakistani” who should not join the group.

According to Martin, a fellow player standing near him in line overheard the comment and said “get them off your back.” Martin said that this episode further demonstrated to him that his teammates witnessed how he was routinely demeaned by the rest of the offensive line and observed that he was not standing up for himself, and he promised himself that if the linemen did one more thing, he would leave. Moments later, at Incognito’s urging, all of the linemen sitting at the table got up and walked away when Martin arrived.

For Martin, the cafeteria incident was the last straw. He slammed his tray of food on the floor and left the Dolphins facility. By Martin’s account, that decision was a reaction to all of the harassment he had endured since 2012, and the immediate catalyst for his departure was not just the prank reported in the press, but also the racially charged taunts —“stinky Pakistani”— that he had heard that day.

Incognito admits that he called Martin a “stinky Pakistani”or something similar on October 28 in the cafeteria, in front of other players.

Reading the entire report, I'm struck by how out of control the Dolphin's offensive linemen were and that there were no protocols in place to stop their taunts. Numerous NFL coaches and players, including Jim Harbaugh (current San Francisco 49er's coach and previously head coach at Stanford, where Martin played during college) confirmed that while locker rooms can be and often are filled with vulgar language and taunts, what Martin experienced in Miami went far beyond that.

What comes next is anyone's guess.

Martin wants to return to the field, and he's certainly a skilled offensive lineman who could easily return and complete his NFL career on a better note. The Dolphins still control his rights in the NFL, and he and his agent will be meeting with the Dolphins to discuss returning to the team.

Richie Incognito has been mostly silent since the report was released, first defending himself on Twitter, then deleting his account after being unable to stop the attacks.

He has been suspended indefinitely from the Dolphins and, as far as I know, no further news on his future career has been announced.

Sports writers are, unsurprisingly, on fire right now as they read and report on the independent report. (It truly is worth reading the whole thing if you have the time and are so inclined.) One may read the condemnations (and the recent coming out story of Michael Sam, a top draft prospect) and have a sense of optimism about the future of the NFL.

And meanwhile, we wait for a similar independent report about Minnesota Viking's former punter Chris Kluwe's allegations that he was released from the team because of his LGBT equality activism.

Is the tide finally changing in the NFL? I'm not so sure, but the across-the-board condemnation of the racist and homophobic taunts that Incognito subjected others to, and the swift turn from speaking of Jonathan Martin as weak and unable to handle locker room culture to the consensus that he was unfairly and grossly victimized, I wonder if this isn't a small tide that becomes an eventual sea change in the NFL.

Hey, a girl can hope.

Originally posted to Le Bois de Bleu on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 02:09 PM PST.

Also republished by The Wide World of Sports.

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Comment Preferences

    •  who ever said there was a time (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wader, BoiseBlue, samddobermann

      when you couldn't write about football?

      You write it like this, you can write it anytime! Heck, this is DK you don't need to write it as well as this to write it anytime but you could have written this in July and it would have received a rec from me.

      Well written, in any season, thank you.

      You can safely assume you have created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do. Anne Lamott

      by zooecium on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 08:03:06 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Football is a cesspool (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    BoiseBlue, wader, rmx2630, samddobermann

    of macho male privilege mixed with equal amounts of racism, sexism and homophobia. As an institution it actively perpetuates these things. Any claims about reforming it amount to putting lipstick on a pig.

    •  It is, but it isn't (7+ / 0-)

      Martin is African-American and from an upper-middle class family. He got grief for being too smart and not "acting black," and expressed shock to his parents the first time he was called the N-word by Incognito.

      At the same time, the NFL is trying to do what it can to make the locker room a not-so-toxic cesspool. They've been worried for years about how the league would respond to an openly gay player. Now it looks like they're going to have one and I honestly think that, given the attention it's going to receive, any acts of homophobia will be dealt with swiftly.

      It probably wouldn't happen if there wasn't this much pressure on the NFL at the moment, but everyone is waiting for it it fumble on handling an openly gay player, so I think there is going to be a strict policy put in place regarding that.

      Apparently Aaron Rodgers has been being taunted on the field about his (still unconfirmed) sexual orientation. So the league has a long way to go, for sure.

      But I think it's trying to get on the right track.

      P.S. I am not a crackpot.

      by BoiseBlue on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 02:28:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That's an over simplification. The kid (0+ / 0-)

        didn't have the "heart" for a confrontational sport like NFL Football.  His coaches and teammates made a mistake by trying to "bring the dog out of him", but they aren't the first person to try to turn a player with All Pro measurables into an All Pro.  As a general rule, you're better off taking a less physically talented player who has "heart".

        "Because I am a river to my people."

        by lordcopper on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 08:39:41 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Jim Harbough, (5+ / 0-)

          Martin's coach and Stanford and now head coach of the San Franciso Forty-Niner's, I presume knows him much better than do and flatly contradicted your point.

          Harbough reported that Martin was a hard-nosed, hard-working and extremely talented D1 football player who demonstrated leadership both on the field and in the locker room.  Moreover, Martin was Outland Trophy finalist -- not exactly a national accolade given to those with "no heart."

          Don't justify the unjustifiable by blaming the victim with demonstrably false suggestions of his inadequacies.  You are way off base in the facts presented here and the absurd argument that an abusive environment can somehow be explained by purer motives.

          Maybe Incognito as the ring-leader is just an incredibly weak and insecure man with very deeply seated psycho-emotional issues himself.  Take a look at his past history in which this just fits a very clear pattern -- it's in the Report and easy to find.  

          A lot of teams in the NFL draft stayed well clear of him because his evident "character issues."

          •  Well then, Jim Harbaugh will pick him up and (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            he'll be a member of the 49ers next season, but don't hold your breath.  The 49ers O-line splay "big boy" football (tough and nasty)and Martin would not fit in with that bunch of maulers.  The fact is the Wells report  documents that Martin has been bullied all his life.  He lacks confidence and an understanding how all male environments work.  Incognito, while lacking "real world" character, has great "football" character.  If you've played football, or went through USMC Basic Training you know what I mean.  I'm not saying it's right, 0r admirable, but that's the way it is.

            "Because I am a river to my people."

            by lordcopper on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 09:04:39 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Stanford (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              BoiseBlue, Chas 981

              under Harbough and now Shaw have set a top-tier standard, along with Wisconsin in recent years, for mauler O-line football. Martin clearly measured up to this standard in D1 football, so on what honest factual basis do you persist in arguing he doesn't have the mean and nasty?  This is the same ignorant and bigoted argument, whether you recognize it or not, that Jerry and Pouncey argued -- you ain't black enough, JMart.

              I don't know the basis of your perspective, but pee-wee, high-school, college and even a number of well run veteran led professional locker rooms do not promote that weird and extreme macho indulgence you somehow suggest is normal SOP in a "male only" culture -- whatever you even think that is in today's real world environment.

              And if you really want a military standard to compare circumstances -- go look at the entire list of punitive articles in the Uniform Code of Military Justice, including Article 133 (conduct unbecoming for officers and gentlemen) and General Article 134 (conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline).

              If caught doing this kind of crap in the U.S. Armed Forces today, you will get the exact type of punishment Incognito will now receive. He has truly brought discredit to himself, his team and the League -- this should be self-evident to anyone - Vet or not - who looks for analogies between the pro sports and military cultures.

              •  Let me please amend that note above (0+ / 0-)

                to remove the suggestion of ignorance in your position -- which I respect but disagree with.

                That term I used is uncalled for and I apologize.

                •  You're making the mistake of thinking I support (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  the culture.  I'm simply telling you how it is from personal experience.  There's a big difference between the rules as written, and actual practice.

                  "Because I am a river to my people."

                  by lordcopper on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 10:08:31 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Well ... (0+ / 0-)

                    Perhaps I've misunderstood your point.

                    As I've read it, you have seemed to ratify the "cultural perspective" in question by confirming that Martin isn't tough enough.

                    I've responded by presenting you facts that contradict your assertion  ... and argued that the real problem with this locker-room melt-down and public embarrassment lies elsewhere ... starting with a guy who has been out of control, by the League's own standards, effectively his entire college and professional career.

              •  Stanford, while a good college program, is not the (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                NFL.  And with regards to the U.S Armed Forces, you might be surprised at how uninterested  they can be about small details.  Been there, done the t-shirt.  It's very difficult to buck the culture of any organization.

                "Because I am a river to my people."

                by lordcopper on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 10:06:20 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  But you have argued that Martin (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  BoiseBlue, lordcopper

                  does not have the heart or necessary mean and nasty.  He had no such issue at Stanford -- as judged by his coach who now runs arguably the second best team in the NFL today.  Harbough indicated that Martin should have an excellent career in the NFL ... and I would expect Harbough to have a fair and credible view of both Martin's heart and ability, as well as his fitness and suitability for the pro game.

                  The factual evidence weighs against your argument, so perhaps you might look instead to alternative explanations for this locker room melt-down ... that will undoubtedly cause a thorough clean-out and rebuilding job at Miami, probably including coaches.

                  I agree that any big and bureaucratic organization -- military or corporate -- is very inclined to look the other way a lot.  Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil ... and let's try to keep everything in-house.  But ... if you embarrass it because shit goes public, heads will roll and decisively.

                  It is hard to buck an ingrained culture ... but this type of extreme manifestation of it is exactly when organizations start making examples, changing doctrine and forcing new practices.  And last I heard, all military service branches must open combat-arms roles to women.  Ain't that something.

                  •  In order to play Tackle at the highest level of (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:

                    football, you have to literally be ready to "assault the opposing team on a run play, and defend an "assault" on pass plays. If you've never been on the field, it's hard to imagine how physical, visceral, and personal the game can be in stints.  The game is physically, and emotionally draining, it literally hurts to play.  To play well, one must not only be talented, but "want" to play. I don't think that Martin wants to play when it comes down too it.  He doesn't love the game, and he doesn't have the personality, despite his All Pro physical attributes.  Read the Wells report and his personal history.

                    "Because I am a river to my people."

                    by lordcopper on Sun Feb 16, 2014 at 07:07:59 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I did read the Wells Report, (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:

                      in its entirety and quite carefully.

                      I feel you are drawing broad conclusions and judgments about Martin that were never made in it and also failing to recognize that your judgment about Martin's "heart" and desire" is contradicted by very credible evidence.

                      It is perhaps fair to say Martin came to lose heart for the game as a member of the Miami Dolphins when continually enduring unacceptable abuse by veteran "leaders" in his unit and that was permitted and enabled by his own position coaches and team trainers.  That is a more carefully made contention better supported by the record ... and not a generalized conclusion that Martin just doesn't love the sport enough or have what it takes.  And in fact, the Report not only suggests the exact opposite conclusion, it even shows a parallel of your argument to the continual insult by Jerry and Pouncey that Martin was "not black enough."  

                      Until more information is available, my judgment is that Martin's walk-out is better seen as primarily situational based on highly aberrant working conditions.  A change of coaches, teammates and scheme can very often lead to amazing turn-arounds for players and my guess is this is what Martin needs to fairly evaluate your point.

                      If anything, thought, it is also much more obviously Incognito who doesn't have what it takes to be an NFL pro ... my guess is he will be getting a "dishonorable discharge" here, my friend. His own very checkered history in both the college game and the pro-level demonstrates he is consistently a dirty playing, out-of-control loose cannon who harms his own unit, his teams and the sport itself by his conduct.

                      In any case, I appreciate the discussion.  Go Hawks!

                      •  I agree with much of what you say, but I believe (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:

                        the Wells Report (and statements from the NFL) to be PR meant to move along from this ugly situation.  As I said, he powers that be believe this culture necessary to bring about the results they need.  Let me give you an example.  In a past life, I was a paratrooper.  I can tell you that the only thing that made jump out of that plane the first time was the fear of being a "coward" in front of my peers.  At that point I was prepared to die rather than give in to my fear.  Young men are extremely impressionable and their leaders use this bravado and hyper masculine environment to push them to reach their highest levels of performance.  Now you will rarely hear anyone explain it in these terms, but I have lived this experience and can tell you that it is a conscious strategy by the leadership because they know it works.

                        On a lighter note, I'm a Dolphins season ticket holder (we are a horrible franchise from top to bottom), but I was rooting for the Seahawks in the Super Bowl.  Congrats on a great year!!

                        "Because I am a river to my people."

                        by lordcopper on Sun Feb 16, 2014 at 01:10:08 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I won't belabor you with my (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:

                          life's experience, but jumping out a good plane or diving into high seas off a good boat takes something impressively personal ... whether it's fear or no fear or the challenge or sense of mission or just an adrenalin junkie.  I don't know for others ... and honestly even now I really don't even know for myself -- truth be told.

                          I totally respect your experience and point of view.  It's not mine, but that's ok ... especially when discussing sports where lives are involved but not life or death that totally depends on your crew or unit.  I do get where you're coming from.

                          And motivation absolutely does matter, I completely agree ... and how one does that is very particular talent of command and leadership.

                          I actually like the Fins ... there's a lot to respect and appreciate.  Good luck next season ... and please take out those damn Patriots.  Hawks will beat them anyway, but I hope they annoy you as much as they do me.

                          Peace out, my friend.

                        •  you said alot there ... (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:

                          and we also agree completely that the management of this "issue" really is mostly PR driven.  We've got no real disagreement there, but I think that's actually unfortunate given the underlying issues we've talked about -- young men, motivation, unit cohesion, leadership and command ... this shite actually matters, as a basic matter of all the underlying standards and oversight issues we've talked about.

                          You really do understand these dimensions and I fully respect your take on it.

                          But bureaucratic organizations are always adapting -- whether strategically or tactically and especially if it involves PR.  Folks like you and me and the pressure points.

                          ... and personally, when do Marines ever paratroop?  Did you change teams?  You ain't that old!

                          Go Fins!  Seattle and Miami would be a great Superbowl cross-country classic! I'd love it.

                          Full respect.

                          •  Thank you and FYI, (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            The USMC maintains capabilities in every aspect of military engagement (except Naval, we use the Navy for that), including airborne troops. That was almost 20 years ago for me, and ultimately cost me my career as a Marine Officer (medical discharge).


                            "Because I am a river to my people."

                            by lordcopper on Sun Feb 16, 2014 at 09:30:56 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

  •  This hits home with me (11+ / 0-)

    I was twelve and I had what everyone thought was a best friend. In reality he was a bully who made my life hell. We were always together but he called every move in my life for nearly two years.

    I was in a constant state of depression and used to go to bed a night hoping I would not wake up.

    No one ever knew and I have never talked of those years. He moved out of the area and I never saw him again, but it took a lot of time to lose the fear of living in fear.

    The reason I can relate is from the outside looking in, you would never have known there was a problem? I am convinced the bully didn't know there was a problem.

    I am now 66 years old and that time still effects me and it always will.

    ...the GOP seems perfectly willing to hold their breath until the whole country turns Blue.

    by tommy2tone on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 03:02:45 PM PST

  •  Incognito will be the goat. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wader, ancblu, rmx2630, BoiseBlue

    He has a long record of bullying. The Dolphins will cut him loose, and no other team will touch him. That's the easiest and cheapest way to make this problem go away.
    At least for a moment or two.

    Professional football is a sport that's in trouble coming from all sides now. Pro football will not become extinct, but it will have to change, and it will. A bit at a time, grudgingly and slowly, from the top down.

    But no matter what, Incognito is all done. He did it to himself, when he could have gotten help.

    Martin will be traded off or released, but he'll go to another team if he wants to continue to play. He may decide to quit while he's ahead, though; from what I read, he is very well educated and more cultured than most professional players. I can easily see him becoming an announcer on a sports network.

    Right many are called, and damn few are chosen.

    by Idaho07 on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 07:06:18 PM PST

    •  When Ritchie Incognito (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      was with the Rams, he was the most penalized player in the NFL and Sport's Illustrated named him the "dirtiest" player in the League.

      And yet ... Miami wanted him.

      Yes, Incognito certainly exercised little personal restraint, but not only was he rewarded for it but in fact was enabled and encouraged in it -- by his teammates and the coaching staff.  

      But was a path obviously fraught with risk and both Miami and League did just enough to allow plausible deniability if he ever went so rogue as to cross the line.  And now that he has, I think you are exactly right ... as a free agent next month who will take him now?  He's done.

      And around the League Martin will probably be seen as a "Judas," but he's pretty untouchable right now.  Maybe he just gets shunned, except by his Stanford teammates who have stood with him and perhaps a few other players in League who will do the right thing and support him on principle.

      •  If a team needs him (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        in the pit badly enough, Martin will get an offer. And if he accepts, you can be sure the team's management will watch their team's locker room shenanigans very closely.
        The thing that motivates everyone in pro football is money. The other thing that motivates the players is the love of the game. Martin loves the game, and he's good at it.

        I agree that Martin will be seen as a Judas to the Dolphins, but another team, especially a loser, could see him as a valuable addition.

        His career will probably be short either way, but several more million-dollar years as a pro will sure help Martin's tuition bills, and I think we haven't seen the last of him.

        Right many are called, and damn few are chosen.

        by Idaho07 on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 10:00:12 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  I believe he has said (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BoiseBlue, ancblu

      he plans to attend law school "after football".

  •  Zen koan (0+ / 0-)

    If you're bullied by someone named Incognito, were you bullied?

    "Stupid just can't keep its mouth shut." -- SweetAuntFanny's grandmother.

    by Dbug on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 07:25:04 PM PST

  •  I read the entire report last night ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lordcopper, BoiseBlue

    and several other issues apart from Incognito's clear ring-leader abuse and bullying jumped out at me.

    The legal investigative team did hire an academic expert to provide credible information about bullying behavior and the range of expected victim responses.

    I was surprised, though, to see absolutely no consultation of academic expertise in racial relations -- especially involving a complex mixed racial environment with economic demographics seemingly involved.  There was apparently substantial bullying also inflicted by two black "eaders of the offensive line group -- John Jerry and Mike Pouncey -- who challenged Martin's authentic "blackness" in their own ugly assaults against Martin.

    Martin's upper middle class family background and academic "nerdiness" as a classics major Stanford graduate was certainly discussed and developed, and also in comparison to Jerry and Pauncey's more street background ... both in family upbringing and their respective university experiences.

    The race issue, I feel, in as complex a way as it presents itself in this case was pretty much swept under the rug.  Here there be dragons, I suppose.

    Another rather clear avoidance I saw was the role of team management, ownership and even League oversight.  The investigative team was commissioned by the League, but this was hardly a full and painfully candid examination that most certainly requires introspection of these factors.  Although in the factual recitation the O-line coaches and Team Trainers were not cast in any glowing light, the Report's analysis and conclusions studiously avoided any assignment of blame in that direction for this clearly out of control locker room.  And ... in fact ... everyone but the three bullying players were congratulated and fully exonerated without any real examination.

    The NFL is very valuable brand ... and so I suppose it is understandable why the report hits fairly hard in selective areas of the rogue player element in this drama and avoids the much more uncomfortable issues also clearly implicated.

    •  Excellent insight. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ancblu, BoiseBlue, Chas 981

      Incognito, Pouncey, and Jerry performed a task that was essentially supervised by the O-line coach, Turner.  And I guess we're supposed to believe that no one above Turner knew anything about this.  This reminds me of how "f@#k ups" were handle in the Corp, and of course nobody ever asked any questions.

      "Because I am a river to my people."

      by lordcopper on Sat Feb 15, 2014 at 10:01:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        BoiseBlue, lordcopper

        The Report was pretty interesting reading.

        There is a raging debate on various sporting that mirror our own exchanges this evening ... and your perspective I think is a majority view.

        Another interesting thing in the Report is this "Judas" concept that you take your beating even if you are objectively right.

        One of the Seahawk head coach, Pete Carroll's, cardinal principles in his coaching philosophy is "Protect the Team" -- but his application of this is to promote mutual respect and not necessarily sweep crap under the rug with no consequences.  Some coaches follow this approach and dismiss even star players, but then some don't and I think this promote dissension in the locker room and the working environment.  

        Good leadership is hard to find.

        •  My perspective is an observation, not a personal (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          view.  An observation from years of interaction within these cultures.  And i will tell you that despite what Harbaugh and Carroll say, they want Martin to conform and be like the rest of the team, rather than the converse.  Football is a business offering great rewards, financial and otherwise.  Nobody associated with the team will accept a "kinder gentler" locker room at the expense of results on the field. And the simple truth is they believe that attitudes such as Incognito's are necessary.

          "Because I am a river to my people."

          by lordcopper on Sun Feb 16, 2014 at 07:15:31 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Again ... (0+ / 0-)

            facts don't support your point.

            Pete Carroll has emphasized that he purposefully lets players be who they are and tries to adapt team support to bring out the best in them based on their own personal needs. He did the same at USC ... with pretty damned good results there as well.

            As further evidence, look at how he has totally changed his O-Line's Coach, Tom Cable's, perspective on this exact point.  Cable used to be old school like you -- punched out one of his assistants while at Oakland and looks for nasty ... but his zone blocking scheme is not a power only game and it needs athleticism and smarts to make it work.  His LT Russell Okung, LG James Carpenter, C Max Unger and even RG J.R. Sweezey are mostly quiet, reflective types like Martin. Comraderie and mutual respect doesn't equal soft and lack of heart. Sorry.  I just don't agree.

            And Incognito will be gone whatever his field performance... exactly because his attitude is completely unnecessary.  So let's see who wants him or picks him up when he becomes FA next month.  He is a retirement candidate -- dishonorably discharged.

            •  The proof is in the pudding. Let's see what (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:

              happens to Martin's career.  I honestly wish the kid all the best, but he was a disaster for the Dolphins and needs a change of scenery at the very least.

              "Because I am a river to my people."

              by lordcopper on Sun Feb 16, 2014 at 01:14:04 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  LOL (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                Yup ... let's see what happens to both Martin and Incognito's careers.

                You say tomato and I saw tomawto.

                I think that it was Incognito who was actually the disaster for Miami.  I don't wish him any ill-will either because all this exposure with be good for the sport and standards of conduct in the work environment ... no different from any other rule change that has altered how the game is played over the years.

                Goodell and the owners will never allow any player to diminish the value of the brand and will make him a non-person if necessary -- remember how many Aaron Hernandez jerseys were exchanged by parents with their kids in tow ... they are the NFL's customer-consumers.

                •  Goodell and the owners are doing a great job (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  of diminishing the value of the brand themselves.  Football has always been a very distinct subculture, and should remain as such.  Selling the game as the national pastime will eventually turn off viewers, and ruin the game.

                  "Because I am a river to my people."

                  by lordcopper on Mon Feb 17, 2014 at 11:23:27 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

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