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This is no laughing matter for the NFL PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, November 10, 2013 12:00 AM

By JIM METCALFE

Sports Editor

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I don’t know what to think about the recent revelations of bullying by Richie Incognito against Miami Dolphins’ teammate Johnathan Martin.

You really don’t want to think it happens in the National Football League — or for that matter, any other professional league — amongst what should be a locker room of mutual respect and dignity.

At the same time, perhaps that’s part of the problem: the closed atmosphere of the locker room where you don’t talk about it.

Remember the old maxim: what happens in (insert whatever you want: the locker room, Las Vegas, etc.) stays in that same place.

You would think that it wouldn’t happen at that level, with everything these men go through to get to this point.

Perhaps, though, with the culture of toughness that football engenders, if a player shows ANY weakness — real or perceived — he is dead meat in that medium. In their warped minds, he has “brought” it on himself.

Plus, most players — especially rookies — don’t have a support system and they don’t know how to handle it. To admit it would be a sign of “weakness”, so they suffer in silence.

I am hoping that this is truly an isolated case but with what is coming out now, that seems to be Whistlin’ Dixie.

This needs to be dealt with, especially when you allegedly threaten a teammate.

That cannot be justified as a “prank” or a “joke.”

As far as Mr. Incognito goes, when a guy fights his own teammates and does other questionable things — he did even at Nebraska before being kicked off the team — you have to wonder why he keeps getting a chance.

What bothers me is that some of his teammates were quoted as saying what a great guy he is, how funny he is, how he was just being Richie, how everybody loves him, how great he is, how they love playing at his side, he’s just intense, etc.

Most agree he is a dirty player; even he has admitted to that in the recent past.

Perhaps the NFL needs to take a long, hard look at itself, the fact that these — well — bullies/thugs/whatever you term them continue to get jobs.

Would that happen for you or I in our everyday, work-a-day world? Fat chance!

Are you surprised that, according to reports, he was banished by TWO college teams before he even entered the NFL — and he still got drafted?

Should those two events have NOT told you something was wrong here? That’s not about intensity, that’s idiocy.

Apparently, he wants to clear his name — by weathering the storm and letting it blow over.

Huh?

How about the truth and owning up to what you do?

Don’t lash out at anyone. You know full well with all the social media and such, whatever you send to people — tweets, twitter, e-mails, etc. — can come back to haunt you.

Yes, let’s have a thorough investigation and all the truth revealed.

Perhaps it was something that simply got out of hand.

However, based on his track record, I’d find that hard to believe — though the sky might be falling, too.

If it is as reported, quite frankly, if he is not banished from the league — and perhaps heading to jail — the Miami Dolphins AND the NFL need to be put under a very intense microscope.

Definitely, I will keep an eye on this situation.

——-

One wonders what will happen with the World Cup starting in seven months.

It sounds to me by what is going on — with continuing unrest in Rio de Janeiro protesting the lavish spending for this and the 2016 Summer Olympics — is threatening next summer’s World Cup.

Brazilians love “The Beautiful Game” — it’s in their blood much like football, basketball and baseball are in ours — but they are upset at what they think is excessive spending preparing for these two events.

The powers-that-be seem confident that everything will be handled well when it goes off but we shall see.

 

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