No one deserves the treatment Jonathan Martin received from Richie Incognito and any others associated with the “bullying” that occurred in the Dolphins’ locker room.
It’s that simple.
NFL players have jumped in to hint that Martin could have and/or should have handled things differently…as if he’s somehow a co-owner of the blame for the hideous situation in Miami.
They’re saying that because their NFL players who absent-mindedly forget that what they do for a living and the environment they exist in for six months a year is a fantasy-land.
The rest of us — the great unwashed who don’t make $1 million a year playing sports — live in the real world where harassing someone with racial taunts and threats to you and your family aren’t part of “being one of the boys”.
An existing angle to this saga has developed in the last 24 hours — that of the “code red” order from the Dolphins coaching staff, who might have suggested to Incognito and others to “toughen up” Martin after he failed to show for a voluntary work-out last spring. It’s the same plot that played out in the movie, A Few Good Men. Two Marines were given an order — to “toughen up” a fellow Marine who wasn’t cutting it. They accidentally killed him. But, were they guilty of murder if all they were doing was following an order?
If a coach told Incognito to toughen up Jonathan Martin and he followed that direction, how is Incognito responsible for the aftermath, which included Martin doing the opposite of “getting tough”…he left the club and said, “I’m not going to be treated like this.”
To me, that angle is the one everyone is going to chase over the next day or two. Incognito was wrong, period, for the way he tried to “toughen up” Martin. That said, if a coach told him to run three miles or he wouldn’t play on Sunday, what would Incognito do? He’d go run three miles.
Martin had every right to choose the way he would battle the taunts and bullying handed out by his teammates.
There’s no textbook on what to do in the workplace when you’re called a “half a n—– piece of s—“. There’s no blueprint for how you handle the offending party when he says, “I’m gonna f— your mother.”
Fighting — literally getting in a fist fight — isn’t the answer within that fantasy-land NFL locker room. You’d be looked upon as a disruptive force and not being “with the program”. It could create racial tension in the locker room if the two players were of a different race. It could cause injury to you or the player you were fighting.
People who say, “Martin is to blame because he didn’t handle this stuff” aren’t getting it.
He did handle it.
He told his employer…”I’m not coming to work anymore because I don’t appreciate the way I’m being treated by the people you’re employing.”
And, now, it appears as if the employer might have been a co-signer on the treatment he was facing.
Finally — anyone hear or see an apology from Incognito yet?