By Alejandro Freixes, CCNN Head Writer
After the Miami Dolphins suspended 319-pound guard Richie Incognito for bullying offensive lineman Jonathan Martin in November, the NFL became the center of a national anti-bullying conversation. Now, an independent investigation of the Dolphins has resulted in a hard-hitting 140-plus page report that finds Incognito and his two buddies, John Jerry and Mike Pouncey, emotionally abused Jonathan Martin and an assistant trainer.
It might not seem like a big deal for grown men to make fun of each other in the locker room of the NFL. After all, they’re all tough-as-nails and have thick skin. However, what might seem like “all in good fun” can actually destroy a team’s spirit, encourage weak-minded behavior, and turn adult professionals into schoolyard punks.
Hopefully, the brutal reality unearthed by the investigation will lead to real consequences. Incognito shouldn’t play in the NFL, and offensive line coach Jim Turner, who joined in the bullying, needs to be fired. Fortunately, this massive investigation searched through thousands of text messages and interviewed more than 100 people, including Dolphins coaches, managers, and players.
It wasn’t just vicious insults being tossed around, either, as Incognito and his brutes tricked Martin into paying $10,000 for a Las Vegas trip. Incognito and his fellow bullies also used foul racist remarks and hundreds of cuss words, despite Incognito claiming he was innocent. And, while the report seems to show that upper level managers were unaware of the abuse going on, that just proves that there wasn’t anyone taking responsibility for the people below them.
Images courtesy of Miami Dolphins Facebook.