What. the. fuck!?!? yeah seriously.
Now you may wonder how a 6'5" offensive lineman can become the victim of bullying. Size means nothing when you're talking mental/emotional intimidation of another person. Some have suggested fighting back..."why didn't he just punch Incognito?" Let me tell you how that works from a very personal experience. I was bullied RELENTLESSLY from kindergarten until my senior year of high school...each year increasingly worse. You know what happened every time I tried to physically fight back? I was the one who got punished by the school district. I was the one who had to serve detentions, fight off possible suspensions, I was the one labelled the "bad one", the "instigator". Then, because I did attempt to fight back, the bullies only made it 100 times worse. Oh here's another theory..."ignore it and it will go away"....let me laugh at this one time...ever heard the saying "if at first you don't succeed, try try again?" well once again, this would just make the bullying 100 times worse. Ratting people out made it bad too. Usually the best course of action was the best coping mechanism I could come up with....just go along with it, sometimes laughing at myself even like it didn't bother me at all and then go home and cry for hours. So I get why Martin may have played the voicemail to his teammates and laughed about it like Brian Hartline claims he did. You just want to act like it doesn't get to you because if they know they got to you, that's a free pass to unleash some more terror.
Then there is the hazing part of this matter. I get hazing. I understand hazing. I was in a sorority and yes, I was hazed. Technically, it's illegal in the state where I went to college, but here's where the law gets a little ridiculous. Part of my "hazing" (if you can even call it that) was to carry a journal with me at all time during my pledging and in this book, I had to interview all the active sisters in the sorority and learn like 5 or 6 things about them. It was a great way to bond with them, but still technically it was hazing because only the pledges had to do it. Not once did I have to do anything that I found demeaning, hurtful or degrading. Did I have to buy some beers for my new sisters? sure....but then again, they were also paying for my bar tabs too at times. We're talking about a 6-pack though, not a $15,000 trip to Vegas that Martin didn't even go on. It's one thing to haze for team bonding (ala the pink Disney backpack I've seen rookie bullpen guys for the Indians carrying the past few years), but it's another when you're basically using rookies and 2nd-year players as a freaking ATM to fund your rock-n-roll big-city partying lifestyle.
Now, on to the racial slurs and threats....simply uncalled for. I'm not buying this for one damn second that Incognito was seen as "more black" than Martin (who is biracial) and therefore can throw around the N word like it's nobody's business. Have you seen Incognito? that bitch is whiter than a cotton ball. Also, there's the deal of Martin being perceived as soft...hello...dude went to freaking Stanford when Jim Harbaugh was the head coach, I highly doubt that one plays for Harbaugh and is soft especially when said player is then taken in the 2nd round of the NFL draft, though Martin did go to a hoity toity rich kid high school in Studio City, CA (I used to live near it). Incognito has a history of being a thug....he was kicked out of 1 college and pretty much kicked off of 2 pro teams already. Track record people.....track record. He was even listed on some team's "do not draft due to character issues" lists. Yet somehow, people are turning the thug with a record into the victim here.
I don't buy for 1 damn minute that coach Joe Philbin didn't know what was going on. I also find it disturbing that the sorry sack of shit GM aka Jeff Ireland has barely opened his mouth if at all about this....in fact, I heard a report today that he blew off Martin's agent a while back regarding some things. How the hell does your starting left tackle (the 2nd hardest position in the NFL to play from what I hear) miss 2 practices out of 14 & miss some OTAs for personal issues and you NOT inquire as to what is going on? I'm ashamed I have to wear a Dolphins jersey at work tonight
It absolutely disgusts me and I'm sure I will have continuing views on this whole mess as it develops further.