A just released report commissioned by the NFL revealed that the bullying Jonathan Martin, the player who resigned last year, then spilled the beans on how his team mate Richie Incognito made his life hell, was, not surprisingly, on a much bigger scale than originally disclosed. Even other black players picked on Martin for not being “black enough.” Was Martin just two much of a gentleman for not lashing out at them, or as one sports pundit observed, maybe Martin psychologically just wasn’t football material when it came to dealing with the shit.
But Martin wasn’t the only one at the end of the bigot shotgun. An unnamed player was the victim of antigay behavior including receiving a male blow-up doll from one of the coaches (if that happened to me, I would have shot back, “Gee, coach, he looks just like you. I didn’t know you cared!”) and an assistant trainer who was rattled for being Asian. (Jesus Christ – this is 2014. Give it up already!)
Ok, maybe this all ties in some way with Michael Sam coming out last week. Maybe he was actually trying to defuse potential homophobic behavior or, as one you commented, was going to be outed anyway and figured better to do it his way.
I’m sure many of us have been bullied in our lives either because we were gay or a geek or a Martian or too tall or too short or too skinny or too fat or just not part of the in-crowd. (The guys who bullied me for being unathletic and short are still slaving for The Man while I retired early – so guys, go fuck yourselves.) But I’m also certain the behavior attributed to the Miami Dolphins probably happens in almost every locker room in this country, be it high school, collegiate or pro.
The bigger issue is what can we do about it? There will always be bigots, always be fag haters, always be people who just don’t like you and can make your life hell. (Any of you got S.O.B. bosses out there right now who fit this description? Not easy to tell him or her to go shove it in a slow economy,)
When it comes to sports, the appropriate agencies or associations should finally come to gripes with the issue and spit it out:
Such behavior will not be tolerated and those observed committing such behavior will be thrown out, not suspended or reprimanded or fined but 86ed. And snitches that don’t snitch will suffer the same fate. No more Mafia code of silence.
Will this happen when you got a racist/homophobic/bigoted million dollar player who can make the difference on whether you go to the Super Bowl?
Who knows, but we’ve got to start somewhere.
After all, change CAN happen.
Did any of you think ten years ago guys someday could get hitched?