Was the media too quick to label Richie Incognito with the word: Bully? Maybe he’s just an Asshole? I don’t know, as I do not know Mr. Incognito personally. Sure, I could look at the list of problems he has had with past teammates and coaches and make an assumption. However, I think the only thing that list definitively shows is that he has had a problem getting along with people in the past, the specifics of those relationships are unknown.
It’s hard for me to see the media turn this into the next anti-bullying campaign, simply because it doesn’t seem like there is enough evidence to make it only about that. Bullying is clearly a very real issue for the young people in this world but as we get older, does it shift to being called something else? Sexual harassment, physical/verbal abuse, discrimination, sexism… just a few topics that come to mind. Anyway, back to football.
I grew up very close to the NFL locker room (I stopped being allowed to go inside after the age of about 5 or 6, understandable I guess). I probably saw and heard way too much for a child to be seeing and hearing growing up. It is a very unusual workplace environment and therefore it would be silly to try to compare it to your typical “office workplace” environment. It’s such a unique world that is difficult to understand unless you have had personal, unfiltered access to it. (I believe that very few people in the media actually have this unfiltered access, some may think they do, but they don’t.)
How many of you non-professional athletes out there disrobe and shower everyday with your coworkers, physically battle with your coworkers, eat several (if not all) meals a week with your coworkers, lie down and receive physical therapy with your coworkers, hop into the cold tub with…. You get my point. The circumstances of being a coach or player lend themselves to intimate relationships being formed in a very familial sort of way. And, families tend to have drama. Growing up I was always so envious of the relationships my dad had with his players. He was always telling us stories about a funny thing someone said in a meeting, or the great catch that so and so made at practice and the dance he did afterward, and how later, another player imitated that dance in the locker room and everyone laughed… And sometimes the stories wouldn’t be so upbeat. Sometimes we would hear that a particular player was having a hard time focusing, or two individuals have not been getting along and it came to blows at practice, or someone isn’t very social and likes to keep to himself but still does a great job on the field every week. Stories like these made my brothers and me feel like we were, in a way, a part of the team. It made us feel connected to the people that our dad was spending so much of his time with. sweden online gambling
Every family has their own dynamic that should be figured out by everyone involved: coaches, players, and trainers. Philip Rivers is known to be a devote Catholic who does not curse. Out of respect for him, coaches and players typically do not curse at him; they’re respecting his beliefs. That doesn’t mean they don’t use foul language around him. If certain language is used in a locker room among friends and everyone seems to be on board with using it, then it will probably continue to be used. I would assume if you’re not ok with using a particular word or phrase, or with someone else using it, then you would say something. Let’s be real here, we’re talking about a group of men, the majority of whom are in their 20s, in casual settings such as a locker room or training room, do you really think their conversations are PG? God only knows what comes out of their mouths. I’m sure I would disagree or be offended by most of it but it’s not anyone else’s business, other than the people in that room, to say what should or shouldn’t be said among friends and teammates. On every NFL team, I would say it’s safe to say that there are a group of players who fit into that strip club category and then there is the family men category, the more low key single guys who don’t go out to bars every night category, the quieter guys category…. hmm this is starting to reflect normal social differences among people, weird. safest online casino sites
It is true that position groups tend to hang together, receivers hang out with receivers, quarterbacks hang out with quarterbacks, and so on. This is usually just a result of those individuals spending the most time together in individual workouts and meetings. The offensive line, in my experience, has always had the reputation, or perhaps the expectation, of being a rowdy and raunchy bunch. It’s easy to see why that expectation could have been put on them: they’re the big guys that hold up the front, they get dirty and often end up on the bottom of piles doing God knows what fighting for field position or possession. You can go back in the history of the NFL and see some of these groups of men: The Hogs (Redskins offensive line in the late 80s-early 90s), Raiders o-line of the early 1970s, and the Steelers line of the mid to late 70s. Is it true that every offensive lineman is raunchy and crass? No, it’s a stereotype. Is every NFL offensive line determined to uphold this stereotype? Probably not, but maybe some are more determined to do so than others. Perhaps Jonathan Martin just wasn’t feeling the guys on his line and in this particular locker room? He’s obviously been a lineman on several teams throughout his life and has made it as far as you can go in this sport, so to say he’s not equipped to be a football player is a bit naïve. top blackjack app android
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Maybe Jonathan Martin didn’t connect with or relate to the individuals on his team? Maybe he wasn’t happy or fulfilled playing professional football. This wouldn’t be the first football player who has felt that way. Ricky Williams has said numerous times that he never really felt like he “fit” in the NFL locker room. From speaking with people who worked with Williams, they saw that about him as well. He was extremely talented but didn’t always fit into the social norms of the locker room. But it’s my impression that he was still able to connect on some level with the coaches and players that respected and understood that about him, and was still able to perform on the field once he accepted that about himself. Isn’t it ok to not fit in? Everyone doesn’t have to be going to strip clubs together after practice and getting tables at the club on Friday nights. Maybe Jonathan Martin had a problem with Incognito and the other guys because they were pressuring him to be something he is not?
As I said before, I do not know Richie Incognito. I also do not know Jonathan Martin. I am in no way pretending to know what happened between them or that Jonathan Martin’s concerns are not legitimate. However, this situation was given a label so quickly and I’m not sure that it’s fair to NFL locker rooms and teams to let this label snowball into a dissection of NFL workplace culture.
I hope that both Jonathan Martin and Richie Incognito are well and that they are able to sort out the issues they potentially have with one another or in general. And I also hope the media takes the NFL out of their “Anti-Bullying” campaign segments. At least until we see more evidence.
Photo Cred. (Lynne Sladky/AP), The hogs