Dick in Disguise
So…this Richie Incognito thing. Huh. This was sorta outta nowhere.
First off: Richie Incognito is a total jerk, and has been his entire career. He’s now officially assholed his way off two teams. He is a dirty player and has been for years. I have no sympathy whatsoever for Richie Incognito. Truly the most Offensive lineman. A bully who needs a good punch in his meaty face. Probably two.
But something just tells me all the players are going to come to his side. Because I think what he was doing and saying to Jon Martin is typical of an NFL locker room. While normal society folk like you and me may cringe and be taken aback by Richie’s liberal use of racial slurs…I wonder about them. This is just a hunch, but something tells me racial slurs are pretty common in NFL locker rooms. They might be common enough that they are used almost as terms of affection, like bro. An NFL locker room is not a PC place, and it is far from mature. Many of these people have had life handed to them and never had to grow up. Hazing…pranks…it’s all part of the culture. I fear many players may feel what Richie did was normal, and will defend him on it. I fear Martin may end up shunned by his teammates, and any future teammates, simply because he didn’t want to put up with Incognito’s behavior. Look at the comments on the web before Incognito’s N-bombs dropped. Tons of people were calling Martin a wuss. Strahan said in his book that “if you can’t take a joke, we don’t want you on our team”. Remember when Prince Amukamara got ice tubbed by JPP and it was filmed? JPP got all apologetic about it and said he’d never do such a thing again and it was his first time. But when you watched that video, you knew they weren’t sorry for it, they were sorry they got caught. They were sorry they’d have to keep it low key for a few days.
I’m by and large a proponent for players being allowed to do things. I hate the stringent rules against personality that the NFL tries to force upon players. I’m okay with hazing, to an extent. I don’t think it should come to bodily harm or emotional abuse, like in Martin’s case. Harmless pranks like saran wrapping a car or making the rookies carry equipment, or giving people bad haircuts like Tim Tebow’s. For the most part, I’m okay with shenanigans. In some respects, I think Martin was kind of thin skinned. I severely doubt he’s the first to deal with such harassment.
However, he should not be punished or hated because he took a stand against his harrasser. If he is bothered by the actions of his teammates, he should be able to speak up without fear of being called a wuss and shunned by teammates. His boundaries should be respected. Some people just don’t gel with that kind of mentality. But look at what Martin had to do to get attention on this: he had to go AWOL from the team and let the surrounding controversy bring Incognito’s actions to light. He clearly could not get respect on the issue from the coaching staff or anyone else. Philbin feigned ignorance in his press conference, but I assure you there is no way the coaches didn’t know about this the whole time.
It’s all fun and games but boundaries should absolutely be respected. I hope Martin doesn’t get shunned for taking a stand.