April 9th, 2014
Bullies moving on after NFL bullying scandal
The smoke has nearly cleared on the NFL Miami Dolphins bullying scandal. There were two phases of national attention. Phase 1 covered the time from Jonathan Martin’s voluntary departure from the team on October 28, 2013, after game 4 of the season, until Feb. 14, 2014. Martin gave an abusive environment as his reason and did not speak until January in an interview with Tony Dungy. The plethora of stories featured the accused and suspended bully, Richie Incognito. Lots of sports commentators sided with Incognito against Martin. Incognito gave interviews, took a baseball bat to his sports car and was involuntarily hospitalized. He lost paychecks for two games and has not been hired by another team.
Phase 2 began with the release of the report of the independent investigation into Martin’s allegations commissioned by the NFL and conducted by attorney Ted Wells. After Feb. 14, the world learned there were three principal perpetrators of abuse. Incognito was joined by John Jerry and Mike Pouncey in abusing Martin. Jerry and Pouncey and Martin are all African-American.
On March 11, 2014, Jonathan Martin was hired by the San Francisco 49ers. He rejoins his Stanford university coach, Jim Harbaugh. “It can be a very powerful opportunity and motivator for a player to say, ‘It wasn’t me, it was my situation,’ ” Harbaugh said. “Jonathan Martin is another player who will have a powerful opportunity.” A recent description of the team culture Harbaugh crafts at the 49ers is:
“With the 49ers, just like at Stanford, Jim Harbaugh has made sure that nonsense is not possible. He has whipped up a singular focus: winning. So, I think this situation is perfect for Jonathan Martin.”
Despite the report about Pouncey’s conduct and his vehement discrediting of Martin as unwelcome, Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross declared Pouncey an “an outstanding young man,” an “excellent football player,” and expects him to be a team leader in 2014. His place in the Dolphins’ hierarchy is no longer in question. The team is expected to exercise Pouncey’s fifth-year option for 2015.
The other offensive lineman in the trio of harassers, John Jerry, identified by Wells as the first to taunt Martin in Miami, was hired by the New York Giants. Head Coach Tom Coughlin said “Calls were made to the league office. There is no suspension in the air or anything of that nature. Whatever part he played in it, there was remorse, sincere remorse.”
The NFL Commissioner, Roger Goodell, reserved the right to suspend Pouncey or Jerry or both. Goodell made is sound like his decision to suspend or not depends on medical evaluations yet to be made.
This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 9th, 2014 at 11:47 am and is filed under Employers Gone Wild: Doing Bad Things, NFL: Jonathan Martin. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.