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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Boys will be boys.

Strip away the extraneous verbiage and that is what much of the defense of Richie Incognito boils down to. Incognito, a Miami Dolphins lineman, was booted from the team a few days ago — perhaps permanently — for abusive conduct, racist language and bullying behavior toward fellow lineman Jonathan Martin. Incognito’s teammates are firmly on his side.

“I don’t feel like any hazing or anything like that was going on,” Mike Wallace told my colleague, Greg Cote of The Miami Herald. “It’s normal in football. … It’s what football teams do, like playing with your brothers.”

“Rite of passage,” said another player, Cam Wake. “You have to pay your dues to get certain privileges. … Football is the best fraternity I can think of.”

Boys will be boys.

And there is a kernel of truth there. Our culture sometimes devalues the bumptious, rowdy, chest-bumping, testosterone-fueled swagger that typifies boys and men. We want them to be “sensitive” and “in touch” with their feelings. We consider it enlightened to allow men to cry, but sometimes fail to appreciate that a man might also find value in toughing it out.

But before we go too far down that road, consider a voicemail Martin says his teammate left him. Incognito, who is white, reportedly greeted Martin, who is biracial, as follows:

“Hey, wassup, you half-n—– piece of s–t. I saw you on Twitter, you been training 10 weeks. Want to s–t in your f—— mouth. I’m going to slap your f—— mouth. I’m going to slap your real mother across the face (laughter). F— you, you’re still a rookie. I’ll kill you.”

Boys will be boys? Um … no.

And apparently, that’s just a sampling of Incognito’s charm. Among his other alleged misdeeds: pressuring Martin to pay $15,000 for a party in Vegas that Martin did not even attend. The final straw was apparently a “prank” where Martin sat down at a table in the lunchroom — and everybody else got up and left. Martin is on leave from the team and is said to be in therapy.

Meanwhile, other defenses have been raised for Incognito’s boorishness.

  • pisces63

    Thank you Leonardl As a 64 year old black mother of a now 40 year old, college educated, computer graphics engineer son, in a marriage with one two year old daughter, and none by anyone else, I thank you whole heartedly. My nephew, 40, yesterday, also college educated, good job, married with 3 children, including a set of fraternal twins was raised the same. NO outside children, either. They are not street, what ever the hell that is and do not sag and walk like Fred Sanford down the street. My only grandson is 11 and we had to pull him from Wade Park inCleveland because they would not stop the bullying. When he was dragged around the classroom while a supposedly black, male teacher turned his back, that did it for my daughter. i won’t say her dim bulbed husband because he called his son a punk and we ripped HIM a new one. He, a high school drop out who thinks it is cool to act stupid. This, in a family where 12/12 children are Cleveland Public School graduates and all have degrees from in progress, my two nieces, to Masters. A black man at Shaker Heights High school had to put his honors son in private school because of bullying. A black vice principle told his father to make his son ACT more black. THIS from a black so called educated man. This kid went on to win a scholarship to Oxford. left to too many black people today, they would hold us down. In the days of MLK and my parents, the goal was to lift us up. I’m not getting it.

    • Vinny Gordon

      Good for you. Keep up the good work of being human.

    • charleo1

      If we paid Mothers like you a tenth of their value. You would be running
      Wall Street, and the Country would be in a lot better shape. Well, said!

  • bob shipp

    In honor of Veterans Day why don’t those bad ass mother fuckers go to the nearest armed forces recruiting station and demand to be fast tracked to a current combat assignment. Could it be the $$$, the safe bed each night, the women, the adulation of admirers or what?

  • adler56

    Rednecks are boys I’ll agree with that- but they’re never men.

    • Lynda Groom

      Far too many of those boys are really man-childs instead of men.

  • The American hatred and contempt for education crosses even the boundaries of race. Think of who’s really admired by most Americans nowadays — it’s not college professors like Stephen Hawking or Neil DeGrasse Tyson, but Snooki and Miley and the Duck Dynasty crowd.

    This is part of a deliberate policy by the 1% types — universal free public education is perceived as doing nothing but creating potential rivals who could knock them from their economic thrones, so they have to do what they can to enhance public suspicion of the highly educated. (Ever wonder why privatized for-profit “charter” schools that suck up tax money away from true public schools are so popular with the 1% — popular for them to prescribe for us, that is? They don’t send their own kids to charter schools.)

    • pisces63

      I know why. Here in OHIO they defunedd the public schools and shut down just about every black school on the east side of Cleveland and only one on the West side and the Ohio republican led legislation voted to fund two more white hat rip off charter schools, all of whom are performing worse than the Cleveland Public Schools and are under investigation by the government. The biggest republican led scam the world has seen and democrats, especially black people, are being led through the nose with a lie.

  • Landsende

    There can be no doubt Incognito is a racist and a bully. What I don’t understand is he gets a pass because he’s a football player but Paula Deen who used the n….. word 30 years ago was vilified by the media and her corporate sponsors dropped her. So far I don’t see Incognito paying any consequences for his actions. Once more there’s a double standard. Is it because he’s a football player or because he’s a male?

    • Sand_Cat


  • charleo1

    This is hazing of course. And for those who’s experience does not include being a junior member of a sports team, a high school band, a college fraternity, or even, I would imagine, a military unit, (feel free to correct me on that, if I’m wrong.) But, a few years ago we learned hazing was an accepted practice even among firefighters, and police. Whether we as a society consider it right, or wrong, it has been intrinsic in establishing pecking order, and building team cohesion, probably since early man discovered hunting was safer, and more successful when done as a team. And each member earned his rank, and share of the kill, in ways I’m pretty sure most of us would find every bit as disgusting, as Richie Incognito’s text messages to Jonathan Martin. In fact, if we don’t understand it was Martin here, who broke the rules, in the minds of the Dolphin’s team leaders, coaching staff, and a collection of most every athlete, past and present, to ever put on a jock strap, we don’t understand anything about hazing. First, it’s all about team. Rank is earned by proving yourself on the battlefield. The message is, you want to stop taking crap? Become a, “real,” member of the team. In this case, with Wallace, Wake, Incognito, Hartline. Make first string, and come up with that clutch play, that someone, us or them, is going to make every Sunday afternoon, to win. Make coming up with that play, the central focus of your entire existence. And believing it will come, you do everything you can to prepare, and if the Gods that rule over such things, will it so, then your time in this purgatory is over, and you’re in! Hazing, for all it’s cruelty, has a kind of hard wired quality about it. And I have no doubts will continue to be used as a catalyst in this process, in one form or another wherever men or women, for that matter, organize themselves within a unit, where each member depends on the other. It is the responsibility of the coaching staff, to ensure it doesn’t get out
    of control. Was this, out of control, or the norm, I have no idea. But for head coach Philban to say, we don’t tolerate it, is a lot of BS. As is the NFL’s ruling body’s
    official investigation. This is show business, as big as it gets. And their are some of the best PR people in the world, just waiting on call. The fact is, Jonathan Martin
    just cut his odds of ever belonging to any NFL team, next to zero. Not that he could not be signed somewhere. Doubtful. But this will follow him into every locker room, for what ever proves to be left of his professional football career. Linemen are not, for all the unfairness of life, almost never looked upon as royalty. And it will be much more so for Martin, if he’s allowed to stay with football. Unfair? Players don’t see it that way. It’s a tough game, both mentally, and physically. Every player in the NFL today, represents a 1,000 who dreamed, and failed, for one reason or another. And Martin is just one more. And hardly requires a lawsuit. I think we also have to remember, as we try to understand all this. These player’s fortunes are inextricably tied to the others on the team. And, I think we miss a huge element of all this, if we fail to take into consideration the high stakes involved, in terms of the big money contracts that are possible. And, absolutely no one wants to be part of an embarrassingly bad team. And yet, this happens, guaranteed, to at least one of these teams every season. And make no mistake, it will effect some of those players, right along with the coaches, in a very negative way. In a game described by football’s patron Saint Vince Lombardi, where, “Winning isn’t everything, It’s the only thing!” Is never more true when considering life after football. When, product endorsements, and broadcasting deals are taken into consideration. So I’m neither absolving, nor condemning on the basis of the ugly, and outrageous racial over
    tones, and the sophomoric name calling. Or, grown men, who’s development has been intentionally arrested, so they continue to make what is essentially a game for adolescents, the most important thing in their lives. More important even, than their future health, as we the public are learning, what the National Football League has
    known for years. About the debilitating brain injuries players are sustaining. That’s just my personal opinion, and many would strongly disagree. But, again, speaking
    of personal opinions, we fans certainly cannot absolve ourselves in all this. It is for our money we heap upon the game by the billions, that they play. In the stadiums we build, with hundreds of millions of our tax dollars, tickets, memorabilia, clothes, colognes, and even shrines are erected in our homes or businesses, to make what is a religion for some, into an even greater, more abiding part of their lives. Richie Incognito is titled, “the nastiest lineman in football.” That is regarded as high praise, by the way. So, I don’t expect a great outcry from us adoring fanatics, for more gentility from our gladiator heros, either on, or off the playing field.

  • Michael Kollmorgen

    This all so reminds me of being a kid 50 years ago being bullied to the max. The kids that did the bullying mostly all died from a variety of causes. One thought he’d make it in the Marines – macho-type. They snapped him. Not as bad as he thought he was. Now and forever is insane.

    The only difference between the guys I got bullied by and the ones that now are NFL, Baseball, Basketball Players is that they got lucky didn’t get killed, survived what they did as kids only to perpetrate the same thing as adults, only rich ones.

    Being young and bullying and now being adults terming it Hazing is the same thing. These are children in adult bodies. Like some said, it might be a “man-thing”. Unfortunately, in a perverted sort of way, they might be right.

    The only real solution for these sort of people is a bullet accurately placed right between their eyeballs. Get em the hell out of society before they cause anymore damage. And, if it were legal, I’d be the first to pull the trigger.

    It’s the fault of our culture, getting to the top no matter what it takes, use anyone to get there and while you are there, be a complete ASSHOLE – while you can.

    What really kills me is that Society puts these people on Pedestals. It’s no wonder our country is going to hell in hand basket.

  • grmce

    Living in another country, I have seen little of the U.S. coverage of this matter. What I have seen concerned me greatly. The only coverage I have seen was on CNN by Anderson Cooper and Piers Morgan.

    Both Cooper and Morgan posited the outrageous notion that because the victim was, I gather, a big lad he should not be bothered by the treatment he had received at the hands of Incognito. This fails to comprehend the true nature of bullying.

    Having been the victim of a considerable degree of bullying as a child an adolescent I can assure Messrs. Anderson and Morgan that bullying is not about physical violence. There are two key elements that seem to have escaped both men 1) the singling out of the victim which isolates him or her from the peer group and 2) the relentlessness of the behaviour of the bully in furthering that isolation.

    This second element has a wearing effect on the victim’s ability to see him or herself as part of that peer group and, in all likelihood creates an effect similar to, if not the same as, post traumatic stress disorder. As in all forms of harassment, it is not the individual events so much as the totality of the actions which create the offence.

    As to the “boys will be boys in the team locker-room” nonsense, that is just so much bilge. Any targeting of one individual for attacks designed to isolate a team member from the rest of the team is the antithesis of team spirit and can only serve to demoralise the group in the long-term. A team management that condones that sort of behaviour is dysfunctional as well as derelict in both its methods of coaching as well as its duty of care to its employees.

    • Michael Kollmorgen

      What you have stated is all 100% true.

      I’d like to further state, that the bullying that goes on from childhood to adulthood is systemic in our society. This is all built around the premise that to get ahead, you have to “use” someone else as a way to promote your own self-worth.

      Children don’t even realize that is the purpose of bullying. That’s how “built in” and “programmed” it is in our society. Of course, overall, it psychologically damages the Bullied, most of the time for life.

      There is no excuse for it, especially on a adult professional level. BUT, that’s the way our country has operated from the very beginning of our formation as a country.

      Boy Will Be Boys! They have a natural aggressive nature. This is absolutely true. But, there are limits. Adult Men should know better. And, to put these professional(?) men on a social pedestal is the worst thing we are doing.

      Then too, in the US, “sports” has become the new religion.

  • Lovefacts

    IMO, this behavior starts from early childhood. Parents want to be their children’s best friend and no longer parent. Coaches, and teachers at the behest of coaches, allow star athletes to skate academically and socially. So, they learn being bigger and a bully pays, especially if they make the pros.

    My son played sports, was a star soccer player in school. However, from the age of five or six, I told him repeatedly that my love for him was unconditional, my respect was based upon his behavior–how he treated not just those in the family but everyone he met and if he lived his life with honor. There were very clear lines drawn. Over the weekend, he and I talked about this case. He views Richie Incognito and his supporters with disgust. His reaction, he’s decided to no longer watch football.