Posts Tagged ‘Miami Dolphins’


Bullies moving on after NFL bullying scandal

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

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.

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Rare news: Bullied target gets new NFL job — Jonathan Martin

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

This may be the happy ending denied so many bullied targets. The most famous of all targets in recent times, Jonathan Martin, has landed a new job. He was traded by the Miami Dolphins, the team with the abusive work environment that compelled him to voluntarily leave, to the 49ers coached by Jim Harbaugh, his college coach at Stanford.

And he’s happy. Read the press account.

WBI research with bullied targets found that after bullying, 29% made more money, 37% were not bullied again, 65% were not able to match their lost income, and 26% never found another job. So, Jonathan Martin is one of the lucky ones. Of course, he still has to win a job on the 53-man roster this summer, but at least he has been given the chance.

We wish him luck.

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For now, it appears this story ends, you can follow the full NFL story from the start in the Category list in the sidebar: NFL: Jonathan Martin Read the NFL investigation report.

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Palm Beach Post: NFL bully Incognito hospitalized by police

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

WBI: The tale gets curiouser and curiouser …

Police in Arizona send Richie Incognito to mental-health facility
By Andrew Abramson, Palm Beach (FL) Post, Feb. 28, 2014

Dolphins guard Richie Incognito is receiving treatment at a psychiatric-care unit in Arizona after reportedly admitting to police that he damaged his Ferrari with a baseball bat in a fit of rage.

Incognito was hospitalized involuntarily late Thursday after Scottsdale police filed a petition to have him admitted, according to TMZ, which quoted a source.

Incognito apparently did not fight the order. NFL Media reported that he accepted the care because of the stress of the NFL investigation of his alleged bullying.

The NFL hired attorney Ted Wells to investigate claims of harassment in Miami’s locker room. The report, issued two weeks ago, found that Incognito led the bullying of offensive tackle Jonathan Martin, several other players and an assistant trainer.

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NYT: Other bullies in NFL scandal lovingly profiled

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

The report by Ted Wells, the investigator in the NFL bullying scandal, introduced to the public for the first time two bully accomplices of Richie Incognito — Mike Pouncey and John Jerry. With Pouncey and Jerry, the harassment became same-race bullying, neither is white.

The New York Times did a long article profiling the two. Inside the article are statements of denial by friends of Pouncey and Jerry.

An unnamed friend commenting on the reactions of the two

they were upset at how the report characterized what they saw as harmless banter among friends and teammates. Neither had a sense that Martin was feeling bullied

Note how the bullies’ version of the target’s right to feel what he felt is given credibility.

A college coach saying

That’s part of the culture of playing football.

A former teammate saying

Pouncey was not the type to harass teammates.

The article ends with Pouncey’s “father figure” saying:

He’ll be back to playing football. That’s what he needs, and that’s what he’ll do.

Yes. Let’s just move on … so we can forget! Wrong! Lessons must be learned and changes made. If not, this is another example of bully apologists at work to restore the offenders’ image.

Read the entire article for yourself. Two Dolphins’ Path to a Bullying Scandal by Steve Eder and Ben Shpigel, New York Times, Feb. 24, 2014

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NFL Dolphins react to Wells’ report – fire coach & trainer

Thursday, February 20th, 2014

The owner of the NFL Miami Dolphins fired offensive line coach Mike Turner and trainer Kevin O’Neil. Turner was named as an accomplice in the mistreatment of Jonathan Martin by Ted Wells in his report about the abusive team environment and bullying scanda. Below, head coach Joe Philbin commented on the report and changes he plans for next season.

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NFL: Bully PR smears victim despite facts

Friday, January 31st, 2014

The Miami Dolphins bullying scandal mirrors in so many ways what happens to bullied targets in corporate and government jobs.

Follow the full NFL story in the Category list in the sidebar: NFL: Jonathan Martin

Now that the target, Jonathan Martin, has finally spoken, the bully ratchets up his defense.

Richie Incognito, alleged bully (pictured on the left), who lost pay for only 2 football games and was paid to not play for the Dolphins or any other team for the remainder of the season, is going on offense.

Since most of his public behavior is indefensible — racial slurs in text messages and drunken rants caught on camera — his PR advisers are attacking Martin. Always blame/attack the victim. He claims Martin gave as good as he got. Remember bullies are believed; bullied targets are not believed.

The Big Lie: the relationship between Martin and Incognito was “friendship.” Friends are equals. Friends care about each other. Friends respect one another. Friends don’t abuse. Friends don’t exploit.

(more…)

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Jonathan Martin explains targeting for abuse in the NFL

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

Jonathan Martin, Miami Dolphins offensive lineman, left the team in October, 2013. His voluntary decision to leave an “abusive environment” caused a firestorm of controversy in the sports world. On January 29, 2014, Martin spoke publicly for the first time about his ordeal with former NFL coach, now NBC sports broadcaster Tony Dungy.

The short 3:43 min. version of the interview

The full 25 min. interview
Listen for his distinction between cruelty required on the field and character off the field. Exactly what Richard Sherman described as his “switch.”

Follow the full NFL story in the Category list in the sidebar: NFL: Jonathan Martin

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Flipping a switch: Abuse is wrong in a violent (NFL) workplace

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

Ever since the media explosion in October 2013 following Miami Dolphins offensive lineman Jonathan Martin’s decision to leave the team due to an abusive work environment, jock pundits struggled to understand his courageous decision. Martin, the target of racial and hateful mistreatment, was blamed. Further, jocks (and much of mainstream pro football-crazed America) described abusive locker room conduct as an indispensable part of the NFL job.

Jump forward to Sunday January 19, 2014. Seattle Seahawk safety Richard Sherman blocked the pass that would have put the SF 49ers in the Super Bowl. With the block and only seconds remaining in the game, Sherman cemented the win for his team, and the Seahawks advanced to the biggest game of the season. In the immediate aftermath, while running off the field, he gave a now infamous rant to Erin Andrews and the national TV audience.

All interviews thereafter with the sought-after Sherman were a disappointment if interviewers expected the rage to be repeated. He apologized for a personal attack on the 49er receiver he had bested. But he taught the nation lessons in how American racism resides barely under the surface.

For our purposes here, Sherman’s most astute statement was to a CNN interviewer after the on-field rage. His explanation is critical to understanding how abuse can happen in a violent sport, “barbaric” in his own words. He distinguishes play on the field that is necessarily brutal to be successful from how players should conduct themselves off the field, in the locker room and when they re-enter civilian off-the=field life. I call it the Sherman Switch. Listen to his brief explanation. Mature players, currently all men, flip that switch. It is clearly “manly” to do so. He even eschews fighting.

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Business News Daily: Top 10 Outrageous Workplace Stories

Thursday, January 2nd, 2014

From the Dec. 31 Business News Daily Top 10 Outrageous Workplace Stories 2013 list is number 3:

3. Miami Dolphins bullying: Thirty-year-old Miami Dolphins guard Richie Incognito was accused of bullying second-year lineman Jonathan Martin. The alleged harassment caused Martin to leave the team and Incognito to be suspended. According to a 2012 survey from the Workplace Bullying Institute, 68 percent of workplaces do not have a policy regarding workplace bullying.

Read the full list

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Miami Herald: A profile of Jonathan Martin — brawny, brainy nerd & bullied target

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

Before the Blow-Up, Miami Dolphins’ Jonathan Martin was Brainy, Brawny ‘Nerd
By Linda Robertson, Miami Herald, Nov. 19, 2013

Everyone knew Jonathan Martin as “Moose” at Harvard-Westlake, an elite prep school for the children of Los Angeles’ corporate and entertainment executives that is perched among the pines of Coldwater Canyon. Martin, a 6-foot-5 football star, reflexively bent over to hug classmates upon greeting them. When he wasn’t flattening opponents with pancake blocks, he played the viola, which looked like a toy in his large hands.

“Jonathan was by far the biggest man on campus, but he was also a big puppy,” said Dave Levy, offensive coordinator for the football team. “Not a jokester, and a bar fight wouldn’t be his style. He was an achiever, as is each student here. He was a serious kid, but he always had a smile on his face and was a friend to all.”

Martin, who attended a private elementary school in Bel-Air and was raised in a neighborhood known as the “Black Beverly Hills” by Harvard-educated parents, grew up in a lush world of privilege and propriety. The Miami Dolphins locker room, where Martin said he was bullied, insulted and harassed during his first two seasons as a pro, must have seemed like an inferno.

Martin majored in classics at Stanford, and his bulk belied the poetry in his soul, but he should not have been ostracized just because he didn’t fit the NFL stereotype, his friends said.

“You can love literature and be a very tough football player,” said Andrew Phillips, a Stanford teammate. “You can be a smart athlete. That doesn’t have to be an oxymoron.”

(more…)

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