What if just as in life perception and reality are mixed up or confused? What if someone trying to do a good deed is accused wrongly? What if the Villain dressed in all black was really the good guy. What if Richie Incognito is the victim of a misunderstanding more than what he is being portrayed as by many who have no clue between the real world and what now is becoming a politically correct world?
The NFL is a man’s game it is full of bullies both good and bad and it is the ultimate cave man only the strong survive sport, let’s face it we all want our team to be the best team in the NFL and it takes some really strong-minded tough players to accomplish that and the toughest and baddest people are in the trenches, the Offensive and Defensive lines.
There is a long list of players that fit that tough man label and will always be remembered as such. Today as we continue to try to make a naturally uncivilized game civil as we have weakened a game that once was allowed to be as brutal as can be. With litigation and not negotiation being the flavor of our era it is no wonder that what SHOULD have been an easy in-house solution has now been a raging fire outside of the organization that has done a good job of trying to put it out. (More on that subject in a follow-up article).
Let’s go back and review what has happened I will take some liberties (This is my sight) to interject things from my perspective. I will talk about what happened and what should have happened and how OUTSIDE opinions have muddied what could have been an easy fix had folks took the right steps.
If you are into football and do not know about this story I would be shocked but to recap we have the Miami Dolphins in the mist of another embarrassing controversy as a little over a week ago one of our Offensive Linemen walked off the team apparently upset about a relatively harmless prank in that they invited Martin to sit with them and as he sat down they all proceeded to get up and walk away from him, unfortunately that was THE LAST STRAW it went beyond the limits of Jonathan Martin and he basically snapped. I am 100% sure it was not the response anybody expected and in retrospect maybe was not a great idea at the time but who really knows when a person has reached that limit?
The stunt most likely perpetrated by the player I call “Eddie Haskell” (Richie Incognito) Miami’s pro bowl LG who is not well liked by anybody other than family, friends and just about all his teammates because he will take everything to the limit and sometimes over the limit. He is often at the top of the list of what is called the dirtiest players in the NFL and he is someone most teams warn their players to watch out for because of that very fact that Richie will take his shots and will do anything to get under the skin of his opponents. What is so ironic is he is a pro bowl player. So can he be that bad?
There is a reason why he is on the team and his play is the primary reason. He is tough as nails, he is a bully, he is one mean SOB and that is what any HONEST fan would say they want from their players especially their linemen. I asked a friend if he had to choose a player to block the defensive version of Richie Incognito (Ndamukong Suh) who would you prefer Incognito or Martin? In fact not to many fans and players would not embrace a player like Richie Incognito. In fact in addition to Richie Incognito, give me Ndamukong Suh on the Dolphins any day!
What should have happened? What should have happened are a series of events that would have kept things IN HOUSE and resolved IN HOUSE. First there is no doubt there was a failure on many levels in the Dolphins organization to not have a better pulse on things and they are responsible and accountable for failing to be more in tuned with the situation.
Beyond the team (Coaching Staff) here is where the major issue lies. The whole offensive line as a group needs to take the brunt of blame as they are a very closeknit group that work together. How it is the Offensive Line coaches were not aware that Martin was reaching a limit?
One way could be that they were never told by the one person who SHOULD have told them. Now I am not trying to get into a blame game but I do want to say that Jonathan Martin should have followed some steps to control this issue. The first rule in conflict is to discuss it one on one. Somewhere he failed to let Richie Incognito and his fellow linemen know that enough is enough and if they did not stop with what he perceived to be harassment that he would file a complaint with the coaches and up the chain of command until it stops. Before even thinking about taking it outside the facility.
Martin all 6’-5” 312 lbs SHOULD have stood up for himself and resolved the issue himself. But that did not happen. What SHOULD have happened after he snapped and went home and communicated to his parents and agent is that they advised him to go back and find a way to resolve things with the team along with behind the scenes communications with upper management maybe just maybe things would have not gone this far. That would help in his maturation process.
As for the use of the words “half – N Word” that has been reported by the media in which Richie Incognito left on Jonathan Martin’s voice mail calling him a “half – N Word” which on the surface looks to be so offensive and supports the suggested idea by many OUTSIDERS that somehow Richie Incognito is some racist, let me address this because I will begin to in future articles talk more about that very subject RACE in the NFL.
Now let me first start out by pissing some of you off with this statement. I am African-American and so I have a free pass that allows me to say N Word as many times as I want and not offend black folks! 🙂
Don’t be jealous it is what it is! LOL…
But in all seriousness, that word is one that can inflame and endear (Nigga), it is one that is uttered hypocritically by many blacks and for the most part unchallenged except for a few (uppity house N Words) who will say it should never be used. Many White folks legitimately ask why it is ok for blacks to use the word N Word but Whites can’t? The truth is a select few WHITES can also utter that word and NOT offend blacks. How can that be?
It involves CONTEXT and in the right context and around the right folks it is acceptable to say N Word even if you are white (LIKE A NFL LOCKER ROOM MAYBE)? In the black community in this Country you will find a community still segregated some by CHOICE and others due to economic status and that also applies to some poor white people who grow up and live in or around black communities who’s kids go to school with and befriend black children in their neighborhood, they become accepted and in many cases are called “WIGGERS” if you have no clue what a wigger is I suggest you Google it or look it up in the Urban Dictionary. A wigger gets the same free pass to utter the N Word as any black person within his circle without offending his friends.
Now we know the locker room has a certain CULTURE and with over half the locker rooms being black players I am sure the word N Word is not uncommon to hear every day within that locker room. In fact I would almost bet that even one of Jonathan Martin’s fellow BLACK offensive linemen might have also called him a “Half – N Word” before. Is it politically correct? No! What is said in your household behind closed doors were somehow put out for all to hear could you be the first to cast that stone?
Now I am in no way calling Richie Incognito a wigger or even very bright to leave such a message, but I do feel in the Dolphins locker room you will not find to many of his fellow teammates offended by the fact that Richie referred to J Martin as half N Word. Even when I heard the allegations I associated what was privately left on J Martins voicemail with an accepted norm within that locker room and to be so unrealistic to think it is not a part of that culture is being naïve at the very least. If Richie Incognito were such a racist why are many of his black teammates who can take any shot they want at him at his defense?
Yes PUBLICLY certain words are unacceptable but privately it is acceptable and had Jonathan Martin really been offended by what was on his voicemail he would have made issue of it way before now but when he heard it, but his not saying anything at that time is in itself leaves a lot of unanswered questions.
So what really is going on is what goes on behind closed doors got leaked out and exposed by people with an agenda, what that agenda really is time will tell. If we could put this genie back in the bottle the best thing that should have been done is for Jonathan Martin to work within the locker room and or even top management and have the issue addressed a team meeting or players only meeting before taking out of that facility and allowing people OUTSIDERS to get involved. It is too late for that but it is not too late for this to be resolved and or negotiated and not dragged out and litigated. Can we somehow put that genie back in the bottle?
I will tell you what I would like to see happen, first everybody take a deep breath and for some folks who are stirring this pot to stay out of it. Can certain reporters who were most likely were bullied kids in life who now have access to means of retribution on national sports mediums find another Tim Tebow story to overdo? Can the thin-skinned insecure folks who are looking to make this a race issue find some other way to eradicate the N-Word, maybe by first making sure they are not being hypocrites?
Can we somehow convince Jonathan Martin’s Parents to please send him back to the team and grow up? Can we get our Pro bowl LG back? Maybe send him to sensitivity training just to appease the vultures? Can we as a society stop trying to force others to be politically correct even behind closed doors?
I want all my readers to know my intent is to open the eyes of some of you to life and what just might be another way to look at this situation and to ask that we not sacrifice two potentially good players and their careers when there is a way out and that way out is to try as hard as they can to get both players back in uniform and back on the team and to maybe just maybe fix in-house what has unfortunately gotten outside the walls of privacy where strangers to that fraternity have no clue what really goes on in the Dolphins locker room and the real truth behind what really happened.
As always I invite your comments.