By now, you have all heard about the bullying allegations involving Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin of the Miami Dolphins. As each day passes, more and more disturbing allegations continue to surface in this matter. Was Incognito acting alone? Were his teammates involved as well? Was this just against Martin? Those are all questions that remain to be answered. Unfortunately, the most alarming news may be the fact that not only was the Dolphins’ coaching staff aware of what was going on, but that they were complicit in the matter, even egging on Incognito to “toughen up” Martin.
If that turns out to be the case, and I truly hope it is not true for the sake of Miami head coach Joe Philbin, then the locker room needs to be cleaned out starting from the top.
That means general manager Jeff Ireland. It means Philbin. It means his assistant coaches. It means the players who either played a part with Incognito, as well as those who idly sat back and watched it and allowed it to happen.
Everyone must go.
At this point, aside from the racist texts and voice mails from Incognito to Martin, much else is speculation. But, as Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald reports, leadership – or severe lack thereof – in Miami needs to change:
“If this report is true, not only is the coaching staff that is supposed to provide direction for the players utterly misguided in the definition of giving good direction, but it has other more potentially significant meanings.
If true — and the Dolphins refuse to confirm or deny the report as they hide behind an NFL mandated gag order — the fact a coaching staff would order what is basically a Code Red on a player and use a player who was admittedly mentally unstable in the past to do it shows that staff is not just an accessory to this wrong but is actually complicit in the sin.
And as the offender has been suspended and will be fired by not playing for the Dolphins again, so too the accomplice should be fired and not represent the Dolphins again.”
Again, we do not know every detail in this case. But, while many want to point the finger as much as Incognito, those people need to have their heads examined.
Because, whether you like it or not, the term hazing does not make it justifiable for bullying to take place. When people ask how far is too far when it comes to bullying, the answer is simple.
The minute it begins.
In the end, the Dolphins and the NFL will have to decide just how many people were complicit in this matter. It will be disappointing if Philbin is either involved or even aware, as this is the same man featured on Hard Knocks who got on Chad Johnson for swearing.
That pales in comparison to what many are alleging the Dolphins’ coaching staff to have ordered in the case involving Incognito and Martin.