The Washington Times-Herald

Columns

November 16, 2013

Martin/Incognito situation should make us think

Race and sports are strange, but familiar bedfellows. Recently the two have gotten front-page coverage during the Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin situation. The drama between these two offensive linemen has sparked racial debate along with a bullying discussion that nobody saw coming. Prior to this debacle, Incognito was known as a dirty offensive lineman who made cheap shots on opponents, and Martin was looked at as a struggling second-year player from Stanford.

In the weeks since Martin left the team for personal reasons and the Miami Dolphins suspended Incognito indefinitely, a new aspect of this story has surfaced seemingly everyday. At first, the story looked like that of a young player in the NFL, who couldn’t handle some teasing from teammates and appeared to have some mental problems. That narrative was evaporated when Martin released a voicemail from Incognito, in which the veteran offensive lineman was heard calling Martin a “half-N---er” along with threats to kill him and slap his mother.

The story exploded when no one saw this turn coming, not even the Dolphins brass. Coach Joe Philbin was immediately pushed centerstage and people wondered exactly what kind of environment was being fostered in South Florida. Oddly enough, Incognito, who was seen in a video at a South Florida bar spouting that same racial epithet, had the full support of many of his African American teammates, including fellow offensive lineman Mike Pouncey, wide receiver Mike Williams and linebacker Cameron Wake. Some of Incognito’s black teammates even gave him the title of an “honorary black man.”

Those words make you take a step back and shake your head. For many people the N-word conjures up strong emotions. If anything you would have thought black Miami players would have backed up Martin and not the white man using this word, but the exact reverse happened and this action did not go unnoticed. Hall of Fame tight end Shannon Sharpe, who now serves as an analyst for CBS, was extremely adamant during Sunday’s show that acceptance of this behavior from the black Miami players was extremely disrespectful to their ancestors, who worked so hard to preserve a level of respect in the African American community.

Text Only
Columns
  • The past is prologue When I left Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Saturday, I watched a lot Barr-Reeve leave depressed and disappointed. The Vikings had lost a heartbreaking Class A final and I think a lot of people were wondering how and why. I'm not sure if either question n

    April 1, 2014

  • A Viking team to remember All roads lead to where you stand. And today, the Barr-Reeve basketball team will find themselves at center court of the Class A State Finals. Whether they win or lose is now irrelevant, as their legacy has already been written. This team will be rem

    March 29, 2014

  • Those hard working worms When the word "worm" comes up in conversations, there is often a wide range of ideas as to what people think about worms. Someone may think of a worm as a creepy, crawly thing that wiggles around in the earth, that young boys used to tease young gir

    March 25, 2014

  • Long live the Big East It first started when I was a student at Indiana University in Bloomington and I didn't quite understand. Most of my friends and people I would meet while watching college basketball wondering how on earth I couldn't be a crazed Hoosier fan, despite

    March 22, 2014

  • Twigs give Leatherwood its name One of our lesser known Indiana shrubs also has a rather unusual name. This is the leatherwood. A usually short shrub, it only grows to a height of around six feet, leatherwood receives its name from the soft leather-like twigs that extend out from t

    March 18, 2014

  • 'Old-school' sharing found in different ways The concept of sharing has taken on a new meaning since I was supposed to have learned it many years ago. What we all know, or supposed to be taught, was to let others take part in your good fortunes. When we all learned about sharing, it was over ou

    March 15, 2014

  • How far was Hooterville from Walton's Mountain? I have always said that television is the one item that binds my generation together (the generation that still watches televison, talks on phone and asks people for directions instead of using one device for all three). And with that in mind, it ma

    March 8, 2014

  • Time to seed the state tournament

    The Indiana boys basketball state tournament got underway Tuesday night as the most exciting month in high school began. As the old saying goes, "In 49 other states, it's just basketball, but this is Indiana." With that in mind, the IHSAA needs to to take a long look at seeding the state tournament.

    March 7, 2014

  • The pen is mightier than the sibling GD (Grand Dad) came to town for a visit recently and before he left I heard him ask Ava if she would to write something for his newspaper back home. She said she would but I could tell by the look on her face that she didn't really want to. She was p

    March 6, 2014

  • Longing for the freshness of spring We won't forget the new words "Polar Vortex," for quite some time. Most of January and February we lived in near-hibernation. When we weren't shoveling our walks, de-icing our windshields or fixing our pipes, we were grocery shopping and preparing fo

    March 1, 2014

Featured Ads
AP Video
Facebook
Clicker Ticker
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide