The war for and against Incognito: Two editors go head to head

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WARNING: GRAPHIC LANGUAGE

Media Overblown, Martin at Fault

By Randy Hammond, Sports Editor

Richie Incognito is not a bully, nor is a he a bigot. He is simply an offensive lineman in the NFL. The nature of the NFL is to blame more than Incognito as an individual. I would even go as far as to say that Jonathan Martin is more to blame than Incognito.

According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, a voicemail was left by Incognito on Martin’s cell phone in April of 2013, stating the following:

“Hey, wassup, you half nigger piece of shit. I saw you on Twitter, you been training ten weeks. [I want to] shit in your fucking mouth. [I’m going to] slap your fucking mouth. [I’m going to] slap your real mother across the face. Fuck you, you’re still a rookie. I’ll kill you.”

There are a few things I take away from this. 1. An offensive line on a football team is a unit that is close and more family oriented than any other group on a team. 2. Would you take this voicemail seriously from a teammate? No. I would’ve laughed at him. 3. If he had said this to my face and meant it, regardless of how much bigger than me he is, if someone threatens to slap my mother in the face, I’m going to fight that dude. I’m not going to just walk away and cry to a threat to my family.

I hate to break this to anyone who thinks Incognito is a bully. In an NFL game, people get called names that are much worse than what Martin was called. You don’t see people running to the sideline and crying to the media. If Martin can’t handle a little horseplay as a grown man in the NFL, maybe he should reconsider his profession.

I think of a bully as a fat guy in a leather jacket that pushes a nerdy kid against his locker and takes his lunch money. That also only happens in middle school. Incognito was just doing what happens in every NFL locker room. This just so happened to be handled poorly by the “victim.”

There Is No Room For Bullying, Even in the NFL

By Dae Jin Yuk, Editor-In-Chief

Excusing Richie Incognito’s behavior toward Jonathan Martin as “business as usual” in the NFL is insensitive if not disingenuous.

Football is a sport of many rules- although explosive contact is a given, players are penalized when performing several moves, including touching the face masks of opposing players, holding them, and even taunting them.

Just as football is full of rules, so is social conduct. If aggravating players through victory dances is a punishable offense, how is it ok to use racial slurs and threaten to kill a player and hurt his family? Even in the name of bonding for team purposes, where does that fall on the spectrum of trust and team building activity?

Some observers – fans and people in the NFL – have come to blame Martin not only for the controversy, but for “accepting” the bullying. This idea is not only self-defeating, it is preposterous.

On one hand, these people will say that there was no bullying involved, and say that we should accept it as social culture.

On the other, they will say that Martin was “soft” and that if someone acted like that towards them, they would have “manned up” and punched their lights out.

So what is it? Was it bullying? Or wasn’t it?

And how many of these observers have punched people for insulting them? Instead how many have suffered the insults silently, sadly, or both, and have felt their characters and morales strengthen.

It might well be true that what Incognito did to Martin is representative of the NFL locker room climate. On the other hand, just because that is the way it is doesn’t mean that is the way it should be (federal law also prohibits this behavior). Football players are considered role models by some, and are paid millions of dollars. As professionals, players should act as professionals.

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