The Herald of Everett, Washington
HeraldNet on Facebook HeraldNet on Twitter HeraldNet RSS feeds HeraldNet Pinterest HeraldNet Google Plus HeraldNet Youtube
HeraldNet Newsletters  Newsletters: Sign up | Manage  Green editions icon Green editions


HeraldNet Headlines
HeraldNet Newsletter Delivered to your inbox each week.
Published: Thursday, November 14, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
In Our View/Miami Dolphins

The bully brotherhoood

Not surprisingly, Richie Incognito, the Miami Dolphins player suspended "for conduct detrimental to the team" was voted by his colleagues as the "NFL's dirtiest player" in a 2009 Sporting News poll. So it's not just one of his teammates who thinks he's a bully who doesn't play fair.
Incognito has had a lot to say since the story broke that his teammate Jonathan Martin left the team, citing bullying. A voicemail in which Incognito used a racist term, threatened to kill his teammate and threatened to slap Martin's mother was made public and forced the Miami Dolphins to suspend Incognito, even as many of his teammates defended him, and blamed Martin for not "handling" the situation correctly. Incognito says people just don't understand the locker room "brotherhood."
In an interview with Fox Sports, Icognito accuses Martin of sending him a text, that sounds like the damning voicemail. Some might say it sounds like "blaming the victim."
"A week before this went down, Jonathan Martin texted me on my phone -- 'I will murder your whole ... family,'" Incognito said, quoting Martin as using a profanity. "Now did I think Jonathan Martin was going to murder my family? Not one bit. ... I knew it was coming from a brother. I knew it was coming from a friend. I knew it was coming from a teammate. That just puts in context how we communicate with one another."
Sure. Makes sense. "I will murder your whole family." Just your average tough-guy, team-building talk.
Incognito told Fox that Martin sent him a friendly text four days after leaving the team the first time to undergo counseling for emotional issues. That's probably true. He was trying to fit in. He likely hoped that one day the abuse would end, and he would be part of the team. But the "prank" that broke the camel's back came last week when Martin sat down at a table to join a group of teammates for lunch in the cafeteria, and they got up and left. Martin reportedly flipped out, and left the facililty. Perhaps he couldn't believe that adult, professional football players who were his teammates, turned out to be as juvenile and cruel as high school bullies.
All that baloney about being part of a "team" and that's how they treat him. That's how they "have his back."
Incognito said he never sensed that the locker-room culture were getting to Martin. "As his best friend on the team, that's what has me miffed -- how I missed this," Incognito said. "I never saw it coming."
As they say, with friends like that, who needs enemies.

Share your comments: Log in using your HeraldNet account or your Facebook, Twitter or Disqus profile. Comments that violate the rules are subject to removal. Please see our terms of use. Please note that you must verify your email address for your comments to appear.

You are logged in using your HeraldNet ID. Click here to update your profile. | Log out.

Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.

comments powered by Disqus
digital subscription promo

Subscribe now

Unlimited digital access starting at 99 cents, or included with any print subscription.


Herald Editorial Board

Jon Bauer, Opinion Editor:

Carol MacPherson, Editorial Writer:

Neal Pattison, Executive Editor:

Josh O'Connor, Publisher:

Have your say

Feel strongly about something? Share it with the community by writing a letter to the editor. Send letters by e-mail to, by fax to 425-339-3458 or mail to The Herald - Letters, P.O. Box 930, Everett, WA 98206. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We'll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 250 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it. If your letter is published, please wait 30 days before submitting another. Have a question about letters? Contact Carol MacPherson at or 425-339-3472.

HeraldNet highlights

Looking for a friend?
Looking for a friend?: Animals up for adoption at the Everett shelter (7 new photos)
A haircut for a dollar?
A haircut for a dollar?: At Everett barber school, it'll only cost you a hair
What's your number?
What's your number?: Find out what your Seahawks jersey says about you
Cooking for kickoff
Cooking for kickoff: Football-themed recipes for your Super Bowl crowd