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Bullying scandal hits NFL

Joe Bittner, ‘Doah Staff Writer
November 20, 2013

'Doah photo courtesy of sports illustrated

‘Doah photo courtesy of sports illustrated

November is Anti-Bullying Month here at Shenandoah University, sponsored by the Psychology department. In this month, we reflect on the effects bullying has on people of all ages. This sounds like something the Miami Dolphins should do.

Richie Incognito, a guard for the Dolphins, has been anything but his name. He has been accused of bullying his teammate Jonathan Martin. The Dolphins drafted Martin in the second round last year and he started all 16 games at offensive tackle. The two players worked together for an entire season before the recent explosion of controversy. Instead of chemistry, these two developed a relationship based on fear.

Many players viewed Incognito as a leader in the clubhouse. However, he immediately began harassing Martin from the moment he was drafted. Incognito left Martin, a bi-racial player, a voicemail in which Incognito said, “I’ll kill you.” He tried to defend his words saying the offensive lineman use vulgar words and threats all of the time. Naturally, the Dolphins organization rejected this excuse.

The Dolphins suspended Incognito on Nov. 3 due to the allegations. This date could not have come sooner. Incognito has a record of bullying teammates dating back to college at Nebraska. He singled out a non-scholarship lineman by the name of Jack Limbaugh and physically hazed him. Finally, Limbaugh left the team after constant abuse.

Incognito is aware of his gifted ability and knows how he can use his size to his advantage. Instead of using this on his opponents, he picks his teammates to hurt. In college, he picked on someone not as talented and gifted- a non-scholarship walk-on. In the NFL, he picked a second-year player with less experience. The definition of bully reads, “a person who uses strength or power to harm or intimidate those who are weaker.” Incognito became very obvious.

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