Thursday, November 7, 2013

Fiasco in Miami?

Recently, Jonathan Martin went “incognito” from the Miami Dolphins. It was first reported that Jonathan left the Dolphins after an alleged “prank” that his teammates pulled during lunch where they made Martin sit by himself. It was later reported that there were a lot of other factors that played a part in him leaving the team. It was later reported that Jonathan Martin had been verbally abused by Richie Incognito.

An example of the types of verbal abuse was found on a voicemail Incognito had left to Martin.

"Hey, wassup, you half n----- piece of s---. I saw you on Twitter, you been training 10 weeks. [I want to] s--- in your f---ing mouth. [I'm going to] slap your f---ing mouth. [I'm going to] slap your real mother across the face [laughter]. F--- you, you're still a rookie. I'll kill you” (ESPN).

More and more came out about the story. Incognito was suspended indefinitely, Martin had checked himself to the hospital, and the Dolphin’s GM was stated as saying Martin should have fought Incognito. There were reports that Incognito had been told to toughen up Martin and more and more players were backing up Incognito. But then I read an article on Ryan Tannehill’s reaction to this situation on CBS Sports which caught my eye.

According to Tannehill, Martin would've admitted to being Incognito's best friend as recently as two weeks ago.
"I think if you would have asked Jon Martin [before he left Miami] who his best friend on the team was, he would've said Richie Incognito," Tannehill said. "The first guy to stand for Jonathan when anything went down on the field -- any kind of tussle -- Richie was the first guy there. When they wanted to hang out outside of football -- who was together? Richie and Jonathan."
I found this extremely eye opening. My reaction to this the whole time was a little on the fence. I knew that things along the lines of hazing were happening on in just about if not every team in the league. However, Incognito took it to a new extent when he brought race and slapping his mother into it. Things like picking up pads or doing embarrassing things in front of the team were all things that I would consider OK because it is the culture of the game. However, bringing in personal and race factors are not acceptable and thus I was OK with Miami’s decision to suspend Incognito.

I sort of felt empathetic for Martin the whole time but now after reading Tannehill’s quote, I’m completely confused. Is there something underneath this whole issue that we do not know about. Was it really Richie that caused Martin to leave the team or is Martin just not emotionally ready to play in the NFL?

I compared Martin to the NFL’s Royce White. White has anxiety and is deathly afraid of airplanes. Because of this he left the Houston Rockets for a long time because he would not travel with the team. He spent a lot of time in the D-League and was then traded to the Philadelphia Sixers in the off season. However, White has started to get over his fear and I read that recently he went on an airplane for the first time. I believe that Martin will get through this like White did. Both Martin and Incognito will play in the NFL again. Whether either of them play for the Dolphins is left to be seen.


Lindrit Shkodra is originally from Diber, Macedonia but lives in Maple Shade, NJ. He is a sophomore in the Sports Management program and is currently the Treasurer of the Drexel Sport Management Student Union. He has work experience with Ron Jaworski's Celebrity Golf Challenge and Ridgewells Catering at the 2013 U.S. Open.  Follow Lindrit on Twitter @LindritShkodra.

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  1. I've been out of the TSC game for awhile, but I think, rather than posting my thoughts as a comment, it's time to come out of retirement and respond to some of your points, Lindrit.