Dolphins ordered a “code red” and Incognito followed an order…

November 06, 2013 | Drew Forrester

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?

Me neither.

6 Comments For This Post

  1. The Armchair QB Says:

    No winners in this developing saga. There is no right way to do the wrong thing and it appears as if there is much blame to go around. If the coach believed Martin needed “toughening up”, that’s his responsibility, not the players! When all is said and done with this nightmare, heads should roll in Miami……

  2. Steve from Sandpoint Says:

    From what I’ve read I think the head coach knew of this since august, if that is true than he has to be fired. The NFL is a business & you can’t have this going on with your employees & heads should roll !!!

  3. John In Westminster Says:

    Good points and great analogy to the movie “A Few Good Men” with the exception that when you are in the military and given orders, not following them could cost you more than your job. Something tells me an O-line coach will be sacrificed too or suspended at a minimum for PR purposes. Also good reference to ‘fantasy-land’ as Incognito might have fantasized he was Luca Brasi when told by the ‘Godfather’ to “make things right”.

  4. BK Says:

    Pretty much spot on. Regardless of if Incognito was told to toughen him up, he should be a sane enough person to realize that this was not the right way to do it and that this was not the intention of the order-giver. And if the order-giver/coach did ask for something like that to be done, then he should also be man enough to say no to such overboard behavior and address it with upper management or the NFL. The team and coaches are completely to blame if this is true, but Incognito should not be absolved of any wrong-doing just because they ‘ordered’ it based on the level he took it too.

    I have three small children and have been very pleased with the ‘anti-bullying’ movement over the last few years and that it is finally getting addresses somewhat properly. This kind of stuff takes away from the good it has done and makes me cringe thinking of any of my children, regardless of age, having to endure stuff like this at any level. High school is tough enough without all of this BS. BTW – I was not one that was bullied nor did the bullying in life, but I did witness it on so many occasions in school and the locker room. Nasty stuff that can ruin a child for life and even drive kids to commit suicide.

  5. Dan Says:

    And by the way , when it comes to Military stuff , , Hollywood makes up things . Most movies are fantasy and fiction . Even when they say “based on a true story” But I get your drift .

  6. Brian Says:

    I have no doubt that Jeff Ireland is the playing the role of Colonel Nathan Jessup in this incident. He’s the same guy that asked Dez Bryant if his mother was a prostitute in a pre-draft interview.

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