Would you want Jonathan Martin on your Team

The almost forgotten abnormalities that occurred in the Miami Dolphins locker room over the past couple of seasons has resurfaced due to the organization's suspension on Richie Incognito ending this Tuesday.  He was suspended for 3 months by the Dolphins for harassment of another player, which is practically unheard of in a sport like football.  The victim as we all know is Jonathan Martin who showed the Miami Dolphins management proof and evidence of the so-called hazing that took place since he was drafted in 2012.

After Incognito was heard loud and clear on a voice mail he left for Martin which to paraphrase called him weak, used racial slurs, repetitive cursing in a negative connotation and etc., the Miami Dolphins organization had no choice but to suspend Incognito in an age where information like this cannot be kept in house.  It leaks almost instantly and the every day average person can easily access that information by clicking a few buttons.

Despite the suspension, the majority of Dolphins players who spoke out, including black players, defended Richie Incognito who is a white man and the players seemed to express disappointment and resentment toward Jonathan Martin who is a black man.  It's weird, interesting and hard to explain unless you live in that locker room.
Incognito used negative racial language toward Martin and appears to have gone a bit too far with the "hazing fun".  Yet his teammates continue to say that Martin should have kept this problem in house and allow the offensive lineman and/or the team figure out and fix the issue.  Some say he did reach out but was ignored.  With that, Martin decided it would be better if he weren't playing for the Dolphins at all after receiving next to no support from the franchise except for Incognito's suspension.  So he opted to leave the team midway through the season rather than continue to deal with what Martin described as unfair treatment of a teammate and a one against all type feeling.

The Dolphins players have said they do this type of hazing to everyone no matter the color of their skin.  While I absolutely do NOT condone what Incognito said on that voice message he left for Martin, it may not have been as bad as we all initially thought due to his teammates, black or white, coming to his defense.  More Dolphins players would rather have Incognito on the squad as opposed to Martin.  Truth is, neither one will likely be a Dolphin next season as Incognito is a free agent and Martin seems to have burnt the bridge that leads to South Beach.

Shortly after Incognito's suspension he went straight to twitter with an appreciation to those who supported him and another directed at Jonathan Martin himself.  Incognito tweeted yesterday afternoon " I support @J_Martin71 100% in his return to football in 2014."  He included Roger Goodell, the players association and they're leader DeMaurice Smith, the executive director of the NFL Players Association.  Incognito's support for Martin precedes all of this information ever coming out to the mainstream public.  Most of the comments by Dolphins players, especially on the offensive line, have said that Incognito took Martin under his wing right away and helped mentor him as a friend and guide to becoming a better football player.  Martin was the left tackle and Incognito was the left guard.  That means they need to be in constant communication so it makes sense that they would develop a close relationship.

However, the relationship apparently got too close where Incognito believed he could say whatever he wanted to Martin and have it roll off his back as a joke or motivation to play better.  Martin, perhaps being a bit more sensitive then your average thick skinned football player, didn't take his comments as a joke or encouragement to become a more productive player.  Martin believes they were hateful words and messages and that Incognito had it out for him.  Martin could be 100% right about this entire situation.  Hazing does occur in football.  I remember getting my head flushed down a toilet bowl during my freshman year at high school during camp.  But sometimes people go to far, maybe without even realizing it.  That may be the case here as well.

We are left with somewhat conflicting stories but I guarantee that Martin, Incognito, the Dolphins organization and anyone else paying attention to this situation has likely learned a huge lesson from all of this.  Hopefully the world will continue to turn and both players can continue to play football if that is what they both want and it's apparent they do.  The old saying "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me" I think they may have got that saying backwards.  You can break an arm and it will heal and fully recover under normal expected conditions.  Words however are remembered and stick with you as long as you allow it too.  Anyone can relate to having somebody they care about, love, respect or happen to be a teammate say something hurtful that can damage a person mentally, not physically.  And as we know, the mind controls the body - and language! 


RK52 said...

I actually would take Martin if I needed a LT. Reasons: he's young, he probably learned a big lesson like you said, he's pretty good and can get much better. So yea I'd take him.

Jason Feirman (@sportsprophet1) said...

Thanks RK52 for the comment which makes plenty of sense.

Anonymous said...

Incog-idiot should be treated the same way and see if he can take it. Only insecure boys play this way...he is just plain stupid and the only way to defend himself is to push that ugly mouth of his around. Just look at him and you know 'what he is"!!

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