Is it just "hazing"? Is it the nature of the beast ? Or just plain and simple bullying???
How many of you wake up and watch the news before you go to work?
How many of you come home from work and turn on the news?
That's my hubby but his news channel isn't a news channel at all....ESPN is his news. Seriously I'm not joking.. 6:40 am to about 7:20am Sports center, 5:30pm to ?? (time depends on the day of the week) channel surfing through ALL ESPN channels (let me tell you there’s a lot of them), weekends- forget it, sports all day!!!! I tend to know more about whats going on in sports than most of the women I know. But to be honest I have ALWAYS loved sports. I'm even wearing a Gator shirt right now!!! And this mama is in 1st place in our family's little football pool!! 87 games picked right so far this season, BOOM!!! LOL our daughter is in 2nd.
Well because of my hubby's Sports Center and anything related to ESPN obsession, I have been sucked into whats going on with the Miami Dolphins and a situation that is being referred to as bullying by some or hazing by others. If you haven't heard about it, let me give you a quick rundown of what has gone down......
On October 30, 2013 Jonathan Martin(#71) walked out on the Dolphins after an “alleged” cafeteria incident involving Richie Incognito (#68) and some other players sitting at a table. Allegedly, this group of players proceed (all together) to get up from the table when Martin (who was the last one to get to the table) sat down. We have since learned this is not the only time Martin has been subject to this kind of behavior. He has “allegedly” received voice mails from Incognito which include threats of violence and racial slurs. Incognito has since been suspended indefinitely. Because of all that has come out this past week of “allegedly”: acts of hazing, Incognito being told to tough Martin up, Martin being told to punch Incognito..... Roger Goodell, the commissioner of the NFL, has hired lawyer Ted Wells to head a special committee to investigate what has really gone on behind those locker room doors in Miami. There has been many supporters who have come out for both sides. Some saying this is bullying. Others say its just NFL locker room culture. Well you want to know what I think.... Even if you didn’t, you are going to get it.
First let me say..... WOW thank you to Incognito and those other players for transporting me back to the middle school lunchroom with that prank. REALLY, that’s all you GROWN men could come up with. Something I haven’t seen since middle school. I really thought the NFL was full of grown men playing a grown man's game. Not a bunch of snotty nose six grade bullies.
I don’t understand that the team is backing Incognito on all levels. I am so sorry but if my teammate had “allegedly” used racial slurs and threatened to kill another player, I wouldn’t be saying “Oh its nothing. Martin knew it was meant in the good nature of toughing one soft player up”. And oh, if a coach of any capacity told Incognito to toughen Martin up (which is also being “alleged”), he is just as much to blame. But then again, there are other ways to toughen someone up besides breaking them down. And So damn what, if Martin is a little soft by your standards. And who the hell determines who's soft or hard to begin with? Damn if the man is doing his job on the field who cares if he cries every now and then.... not saying that’s what happened here, just an example.
To me this whole situation is screaming that Incognito is nothing more than a bully and the Dolphins have done what every school before the present winds of change has done, covered it up. Well like they say “everything done in the dark will eventually come to light”. Martin was finally fed up with putting up with it and did what he thought was the best way to handle the situation. Every bullied person finally gets to a point where they just decided that the situation isn’t worth being in anymore. Its “alleged” that Martin ended up in the hospital due to emotional stress. Some aren’t as lucky as to remove themselves from the situation like Martin did. Some end the bullying by ending their lives. Its a sad statistic of how many teens have committed suicide due to bullying of all kinds.
What has really got me pissed off is some players around the NFL are making it out to be you're everyday run of the mill “hazing”. What is hazing some might ask? Its an accepted from of bullying. Say you join a new sports team, frat, sorority, etc, the heads of the group puts the rookie through hell. Doing all the laundry for the team, paying for food for the team, being tied to goal post, standing naked while the rest of the girls point of your flaws, being thrown into ice baths, being jumped by some members, etc. Seriously the list could go on and on and on about the wonderful acceptable past time called “hazing”. For heavens sake a member of FAMU 's band died to injuries received from hazing. To be honest there have been other incidents where the person died due to hazing practices.
I am sorry this is not the nature of the beast. We are on a winds of change with all the bullying campaigns out there. We are trying to teach our children that bullying isn’t acceptable on any level. But wait here comes you list of acceptable bullying as long as you call it hazing. Come on?!?! REALLY?!?! This is the example you are showing young sports players that as long as it happens in the locker room and among players its all good. .........NO NO IT'S NOT GOOD. Its still bullying. Any time you make someone else feel like shit due to you words (spoken or written) and actions, is bullying. Anytime you break someone down in a negative way, it is bullying. And its not okay just because its the culture of sports or whatever excuse you might have to help yourself sleep better at night, it's still bullying. And it is especially unacceptable when it happens among people who are viewed as role models by so many young players around the world. Yeah buddy you have fans all around the world. Not saying Martin or Incognito are that big.... I never been a Dolphins fan. But you get my point that. You are held to a higher standard than the average human being. That's the price that come with that million dollar paycheck.
I am thankful that my kids see this as bullying too. They know this is not how you act among teammates and so called friends. They know you are to support your teammates and friends. And that what we do can have more of an impact on someone than they could ever know. These are life lesson they didn’t learn on the field.... they were learned here at home. Our children have heard daddy and I talk about this situation. Our son has even joined in on the open conversation. We as parents have a duty to the world around us to raise decent human beings. And I truly hope some of you will have the bullying conversation with you children. We cant change what we don’t acknowledge.
And to the NFL please take this situation as a wake up call to a bigger issue than the simple “hazing”, nature of the beast, locker room behavior. Hold the players to accountable for their actions. And stop blaming the victim for being to soft to take the ribbing.
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