I've had a hard time deciding what angle to take on this post. I obviously can't post the passages from Incognito as they are way too graphic and disgusting. Instead I find myself shaking my head at Incognito's defense, from page 16 of the report:
From Incognito’s perspective, however, the statements in question were an accepted part of the everyday camaraderie of the Dolphins tight-knit offensive line. Incognito told us that Martin (and other offensive linemen) all recognized, accepted and, indeed, actively participated in "go-for-the-jugular" teasing, and that vulgarity and graphic sexual comments were not only a staple of their locker-room culture but also helped them bond.
Really Richie? 'Tight knit' offensive line? It helps team mates bond? Did he say this with a straight face? I'm guessing he did and so I'm thinking Incognito has to be the most narcissistic, delusional person int he NFL. I can see saying this type of stuff to a competitor during a game but to a team mate off the field? After all, Incognito has been multiple winner of the NFL's Dirtiest Player award and has a history of bullying team mates.
As a freshman at Nebraska in 2002, Incognito (according to USA Today this week) bullied teammate Jack Limbaugh to the point where he stormed off at practice. In the spring semester of 2004, Incognito was charged with three counts of assault after a fight at a party. He was found guilty on one charge of misdemeanor assault and hit with a $500 fine. • That following fall, Incognito was suspended from Nebraska and he withdrew from school two weeks later. • Two weeks after leaving Nebraska, Incognito enrolled at Oregon. A week after that, then-Ducks head coach Mike Bellotti kicked him off the team and told the Oregonian: "There were conditions we had set down and set forth for him to be admitted to our program, and they were not met."
So Incognito wants us to believe this is all normal behavior and that Martin just has thin skin. In fact, he wants us to believe that actually he is the victim in all this:
Incognito claims, however, that Martin manufactured allegations that he was hurt by verbal harassment to cover up an impulsive decision to flee from football. According to Incognito, Martin’s departure from the Dolphins should be attributed to preexisting mental health problems, alcohol and drug use and/or concerns about poor performance on the field. Martin has candidly acknowledged wrestling with all of these issues, and his text messages and other evidence demonstrate that these are real factors, not issues Incognito has manufactured out of whole cloth.
So is this really typical of an NFL locker room? I ask that rhetorically because I realize we rarely get commenters on CSR who have actually been in an NFL locker room. I think a more relative question might be how does the membership feel about the language and abuse and do you think you could handle it if you were bringing down a couple million $$ a year. Does making a lot of money even figure into it?
I can't imagine for a second this type of behavior happening in the Panthers locker room. I can't see Smitty, Gross or TD standing by and not addressing this. The Panthers have always appeared to conduct themselves professionally, or at least that's the type of players we bring in. I wonder if the Panthers took Incognito off their draft board as well. His record of trouble going back to his freshman year would have to be a red flag for every team, some just choose to look past it.
So did the fact Incognito was a really good player, a Pro Bowler in fact, allow some teams to overlook his conduct? I would think the answer is a resounding 'Yes'. Is that what the Panthers did with Steve Smith, who had some of his own issues early in his career? Let me go ahead and bring this up since I'm sure someone will counter with it in the thread. The difference is that Smith had a couple moments he lost his temper and he hasn't repeated it in a long time. Incognito exhibited this appalling behavior consistently, on a routine basis over a long period of time and has shown no remorse for his actions other than to say he's sorry Martin took it wrong.
He even went so far as to gloat about 'breaking JMart'. Why in the world would one team mate want to break another? I still just can't believe how delusional and full of himself Incognito was to think this behavior was acceptable. It blows my mind and I just wonder what in the world did his parents teach him growing up.
So I've tried to put together a poll on how the rest of you feel. I recommend those 18 and over click over and read the first 20 pages or so. That was about all I could handle.