The Washington Times-Herald

Columns

November 16, 2013

Martin/Incognito situation should make us think

(Continued)

Martin’s parents were graduated from Harvard and he was graduated from Stanford, where he played for hard-nosed coaches Jim Harbaugh and David Shaw. You would think if he were soft, as he’s being portrayed, he wouldn’t have been able to succeed in those environments. The idea to toughen up a football player, especially an offensive lineman, who’s entire job is to protect the blindside of franchise quarterback Ryan Tannehill, wouldn’t have been such a bad idea if the Dolphins had picked a different player to carry out the training.

Instead they chose Incognito, who is infamous throughout the league for dirty hits. Police also questioned him after a woman accused him of sexual assault during a Dolphins team outing at a South Florida golf course. According to the report, Incognito used one of his golf clubs to molest an employee at the course. Despite this incident, the Dolphins kept Incognito in a leadership position with the team, which begs the question, “What exactly were the Dolphins doing putting Incognito with Martin?”

Martin is a soft-spoken, educated man who didn’t see violence toward Incognito or any other veteran as the answer to his problems. Many analysts and former players have suggested this course of action would have stopped the bullying. Martin comes from a world where intelligence, not violence will get you where you need to go. Maybe Martin isn’t cut out for the NFL, or the culture of what the football locker room entails, or maybe this is a culture that needs to be monitored more closely.

The outrage from the bullying and the racially charged encounter would suggest this kind of hazing isn’t common, but I would counter with the thought that this kind of behavior should never occur in the first place. I will defer to those who know better. I’m just an outsider hoping people can just treat each other with respect, but maybe that’s asking too much.

Dennis Glade is a lover of pitbulls and Qdoba burritos. When he’s not writing, he’s likely playing tug o’ war with his 85-pound pitbull, Toby. He can be reached at dglade@washtimesherald.com

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