Bullying: How the Miami Dolphins Dropped the Ball

Published: Nov 04, 2013 11:30am EST
By shaunmerritt, Entertainment/Sports Writer for Konsume Sports

Please Note: This article was updated Nov 04, 2013 @ 11:36am EST

 

If there is an issue that has shown its true, ugly face lately it is bullying. Bullying has gone unchecked in schools, on social networks, and as it is being reported in Miami, in the NFL.

When I read that Jonathan Martin had left the Miami Dolphins because of some prank put on by his teammates I thought the same thing that most everything was thinking, either it went too far and/or maybe Martin had over reacted. Then the reports came out that he had been at the receiving end of bullying by his fellow teammates. Even though there is no place for this in professional sports, that's not the part of the story that angers me. It’s the lack of action on the part of the Dolphins that has been causing me to start grinding my teeth.

Allegedly, Richie Incognito had extorted money from Martin for a trip to Vegas that the entire offensive line was going on. A trip to which Martin wanted no part of. It has also been reported that Martin had received harassing phone calls and threats from Incognito if he did not pay. Apparently this is not news to anyone on the team, and that is what should cause outrage.

The Dolphins, before the detailed reports starting coming out, said that they have not acted on the matter because Martin had not filed an official complaint. Take a moment to process that logic. They basically ignored it.

Imagine if your child was being bullied and extorted at school. Other kids have seen this going on and there is a very good chance the teachers have noticed too. However, the school has not done anything because your child has not submitted the proper paperwork. Someone please try and explain that logic to me because it cannot see it.

Meer hours after releasing their moronic statement about Martin’s lack of an official complaint, it dawned on someone about how asinine that statement was and then they stated they are now working with the NFL to investigate the allegations. I shiver at the thought of what would have transpired if this went unchecked and Martin did something rash. We have seen many times what the affects bullying can have on an individual. Luckily, this situation did not escalate to the level of horrors we have seen in the news, but this is due in no part of the actions of Miami Dolphins. Their inaction needs to be addressed both swiftly and decisively.

It was announced today that Richie Incognito has been suspended indefinitely, but that is not enough. The Miami Dolphins need to be punished too. Bullying has no place in any aspect of life. Not in schools, not online, and certainly not in sports. If this was a school, people involved who ignored the bullying would be fired. The NFL needs to follow suit with the Miami Dolphins because I have no doubt this is a common occurrence in the NFL.

If they don’t act, I fear we will be reading about how another case of teammate on teammate bullying drove someone over the edge, resulting in someone paying the ultimate price.


 

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shaunmerritt
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