Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Sports

November 17, 2013

LINDLEY: NFL needs to shed light on bullying scandal

Incognito and Martin situation focuses attention on NFL work environment.

It’s difficult to make much sense of the actions in the Miami Dolphins locker room because it’s a culture most of us don’t understand and can’t comprehend.

The players are different from us: They’re bigger, faster, richer, more celebrated, more condemned, more confident, more insecure than the couple down the street or the person who sits across from us at work.

We know them, but they don’t know us.

That leads us to people like Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin. Both are big, imposing men. Incognito stands 6-foot-3, 319 pounds. Martin, equally imposing at 6-5, 312 pounds.

Is one a bully? Was one bullied?

At first, their size doesn’t seem to fit the stereotype of a bully, one where a bigger person picks on a smaller one. Yet, bullying is as much a mental attack as it is physical. Assessing blame is hard to determine. Besides, how can someone on the outside tell what’s happening inside a team complex? You can’t.

But that’s not the case with Miami Dolphins. It’s the responsibility of everyone from the team president to the general manager to the coach to know what’s happening on their property. That was not the case.

Now someone is going to pay the price. There’s a jocularity around a locker room; it’s part of the team-building process. But if you read from the heavily-edited electronic exchanges between Incognito and Martin, it’s clear there was an ugliness and a message of disrespect that has no place in civil society or a competitive business environment.

This latest episode comes at a time when the National Football League is ill-prepared to confront another public relations debacle. Concussion issues have both immediate and long-range implications. The NFL doesn’t test for Human Growth Hormones, yet its players are behemoths. Players getting arrested are a reoccurring story across the league, none worse than the murder charge former New England star Aaron Hernandez is facing.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • SPL - KT082014 - Western football preview - pic FOOTBALL: Western preview Western's football team ran the ball on 575 of its 634 offensive plays last season. Three players combined to account for 424 of the rushing attempts. Expect a much different look from the Panthers under new coach Ronnie Jankovich.

    August 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPL - KT082014 - Cass football preview - mug FOOTBALL: Cass preview Lewis Cass may lack experience entering this season, but not moxie. The Kings return just a handful of starters from last year’s team that finished 5-5, one of the few teams in recent program history that did not win more games than it lost.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPL - KT082014 - County boys XC preview - pic BOYS CROSS COUNTRY: Howard County preview Western's boys cross country team is ready to chase after more championship hardware. The Panthers are four-time defending Mid-Indiana Conference champions and two-time defending Logansport Sectional winners.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Prep roundup for Wednesday, Aug. 20 Taylor's boys soccer team got its season off to a flying start with a 5-1 victory over Western on Tuesday night, highlighted by a hat trick from Hunter Stephens. It marked the first time the Titans had beaten the Panthers in Mike Shane's tenure as coach.

    August 20, 2014

  • Sports briefs for Wednesday, Aug. 20 Visiting Judson University swept IU Kokomo 25-22, 25-22, 25-23 in NAIA volleyball action Tuesday night, spoiling the Cougars' home and season opener. Lindi Thomas led IUK with 16 kills on a .351 hitting percentage. She also had 10 digs.

    August 20, 2014

  • SPL - KT082014 - Ken de la Bastide column - column sig DE LA BASTIDE: Chase field is taking shape Lost in the media furor surrounding Tony Stewart was the fact that A.J. Almendinger recently qualified for the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship. Almendinger, driving for a single-car team, became the 12th different driver to score a win this season, qualifying the team for the championship hunt.

    August 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • TV Redskins Name Football [Duplicate] Simms, Dungy likely not to use 'Redskins' on TV NEW YORK (AP) — Two influential NFL voices — including CBS lead analyst Phil Simms, who will handle Washington's Week 4 game — said Monday they likely won't use the term "Redskins" when discussing the franchise. "My very first thought is it will be

    August 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • SPT - KT081914 Northwestern football preview - pic FOOTBALL: Northwestern preview Northwestern's football program graduated a large senior class of more than 20 players from a 7-4 squad, leaving a fresh team that will play on different strengths. Coach John Hendryx said the Purple Tigers are a "pretty athletic group, and they're great kids. They're very, very coachable, they want to learn."

    August 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPL - KT081914 - Tipton football preview - mug FOOTBALL: Tipton preview Tipton football players are fully aware outsider expectations for their season are low due to massive graduation losses. But the confidence and motivation that comes with tradition isn’t shaken that easily.

    August 19, 2014 2 Photos

  • SPL - KT081914 - County girls XC preview - pic GIRLS XC: Howard County preview Eastern's girls cross country team continued its winning ways last season. The Comets won their fifth straight Mid-Indiana Conference title and also their fifth straight Logansport Sectional title. Western was the Comets' closest local challenger. The Panthers were runners-up in the conference meet. They finished third in the sectional.

    August 19, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
SportsKT twitter
More kokomotribune.com
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Raw: IDF Footage Said to Show Airstrikes Police: Ferguson More Peaceful Raw: Aftermath of Airstrike in Gaza Raw: Thousands March on Pakistani Parliament Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan Fire Crews Tame Yosemite Fire Raw: Police Weapon Drawn Near Protesters, Media Raw: Deadly Landslides in Japan Raw: Explosions in Gaza As Airstrikes Resume Arrests Witnessed in Ferguson Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape Texas Gov. Perry: Indictment 'a Political Act' US Officials: Video Shows American's Beheading Video Shows Ferguson Cop Months Before Shooting Heavy Rains Flood Arizona Roads US Trying to Verify Video of American's Killing FBI Director Addresses Ferguson Shooting in Utah Raw: Police at Scene of St. Louis Shooting Police: 2 Calif. Boys Planned School Shooting NOLA Police Chief Retires Amid Violent Crimes
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.