Bullying and Racism in the NFL
November 6, 2013 6:40 PM   Subscribe

On October 30th, it was reported that NFL offensive tackle Jonathan Martin walked out of the Miami Dolphins' facility after a cafeteria prank. It was subsequently reported that Martin had been subjected to bullying by his teammate Richie Incognito, long considered to be one of the NFL's dirtiest players. Though the incident was initially thought to be a product of rookie hazing gone haywire (resulting in, among other things, Dolphins rookies footing thousand dollar bills at strip clubs), the backstory turned out to be far more serious. Incognito allegedly sent Martin threatening and racially charged text messages and voice mails. The revelation kicked off a flurry of discussion about bullying in the NFL workplace. While many pundits and ex-players supported Martin, others blasted him for violating the "NFL Code." Incognito was then suspended for conduct detrimental to the team, while claiming that the truth would come out. Several days later, it was reported that Incognito had been asked by the Dolphins' to "toughen Martin up" because Martin, a Stanford grad, was considered by some in the NFL to be "soft", a characterization which disappointed some ex-teammates. So what has been the reaction from the Dolphins' locker room? In recent days, a number of teammates have vocalized their support for Incognito. Some defended his use of the n-word by claiming he was honorary which prompted a rebuttal from Deadspin.
posted by nathancaswell (102 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
 
Despite all this I just can't believe that there is someone whose last name is really Incognito.
posted by Our Ship Of The Imagination! at 6:43 PM on November 6, 2013 [46 favorites]


Did you order the Code Red? Did you order the Code Red?
posted by Justinian at 6:45 PM on November 6, 2013 [8 favorites]


I guess Richie didn't do a very good job at keeping his bullying . . .

Incognito
posted by The World Famous at 6:54 PM on November 6, 2013 [9 favorites]


Will be very interesting to see who ends up taking the fall for this. Who's getting fired and who's gonna pay? I just can't decide.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:59 PM on November 6, 2013




Come to the Pats, Martin! Smart, tough and ruthless is Coach B's way. An O-Lineman who can so utterly destroy an elite player for being stupid, lazy and overconfident you could do nothing to him or the system he played in... yup. Mankins and Martin in front of Brady. I'm digging it.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:03 PM on November 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


Between this and the head injury issue, I'm seeing my enthusiasm for the NFL wane. This kind of thing is just not okay, even in a workplace that tolerates hazing.
posted by MoonOrb at 7:07 PM on November 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


Incognitio incident shocking, but not to players (warning - autoplay video at top of article)
posted by nubs at 7:11 PM on November 6, 2013


Also worth checking out is Margary's bit a couple days ago: Football Players Hate Each Other More Than You Think.

It's fucking ridiculous, this whole situation. As awful as it is, I'm grateful it's not my team. If it were Chicago, I'd have qualms with rooting for them after crap like this. The rookie hazing thing has been going on forever, but as someone pointed out, making the rookies pick up a $30,000 tab on a salary as little as $400,000 (the NFL minimum) is already over the line. Adding in the racist bullshit and constant abuse? That shit needs to end, and people who think it doesn't, that 'this is just how things are' need to wake up and stop embarrassing themselves.
posted by Ghidorah at 7:12 PM on November 6, 2013 [6 favorites]


They messed with the wrong guy.
posted by jamjam at 7:14 PM on November 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


I wanted to hear what my football hero, Tony Dungy, had to say about this: "[Hazing] doesn't happen everywhere," Dungy said. "It happens where you allow it to happen." I knew Tony would speak truth!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:15 PM on November 6, 2013 [12 favorites]


A culture of hazing is indefensible. If this was a greek organization on any college campus, their charter would get yanked in a heartbeat.
posted by Badgermann at 7:15 PM on November 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


A real leader would take the rap, admit his cuplability, and resign. Philbin has stuck to his guns. Q.E.D.
posted by ob1quixote at 7:18 PM on November 6, 2013


From the Grantland article:

If being a good person who's sensitive and eager to please makes you a gigantic target in the NFL, that's pretty depressing.

and

Martin apparently hit the breaking point last Monday after a practical joke in which teammates refused to sit with him at lunch.

What the fuck. Elementary school bullshit is supposed to stop somewhere in the time before you become a goddamn adult.
posted by Ghidorah at 7:21 PM on November 6, 2013 [19 favorites]


[Hi - not only do we not really do the "I wish harm on these people" thing but being mindful of the history of fire hoses in a thread about racially charged issues would be useful. Thank you. Make an effort.]
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:28 PM on November 6, 2013 [4 favorites]


Ace Ventura will get to the bottom of this.
posted by robcorr at 7:30 PM on November 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yay sportsball players, giving our young fans something to aspire to!
posted by Jimbob at 7:32 PM on November 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


Winning doesn’t require misery in 2013.

Also from the Grantland article. It seems pretty simple, yet so many people can't figure it out. I would love to be able to like sports without having to justify all of the outright shittiness it brings up.
posted by Ghidorah at 7:33 PM on November 6, 2013 [6 favorites]


Between this and the head injury issue, I'm seeing my enthusiasm for the NFL wane. This kind of thing is just not okay, even in a workplace that tolerates hazing.

I hear this. I had just about given up on football these past couple of years, and then the Broncos had to go and get off to such a great start this season that my resolve to be done with the whole sport collapsed. Hurry up and win another Superbowl and get bad again so I can quit you, Broncos!
posted by scody at 7:34 PM on November 6, 2013 [6 favorites]


Ghidorah: " Elementary school bullshit is supposed to stop somewhere in the time before you become a goddamn adult."

Were you under the impression that most football players were adults?

That video of Incognito in the bar...Jesus, what a piece of shit.
posted by notsnot at 7:39 PM on November 6, 2013


The Deadspin article is a good riposte to the whole defensive attitude shown by Incognito. Bullying is unacceptable no matter where you work, this should be stamped out with no leniency. Allowing this culture to perpetuate is the fault of the manager, I'd expect him to be accountable. However, this is the NFL and nothing will happen.
posted by arcticseal at 7:40 PM on November 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Antrel Rolle:

Was Richie Incognito wrong? Absolutely. But I think the other guy is just as much to blame as Richie, because he allowed it to happen. At this level, you're a man. You're not a little boy. You're not a freshman in college. You're a man.

It's dead ass wrong. But in this world in general people will do what u allow them to do. I am very sympathetic for Martin and if he was my teammate that would have never took place. That I can assure.

So what are you suppose to do? These people always blame the victim and say they aren't doing anything to stop it but don't offer any useful solutions. You can't sit there and say "Hey man, cut it out." because they'll go after you even more. You can't fight them, and even if you could, that's probably a terrible idea.

Seriously, what are you suppose to do? It seems like if you went to management they'd just give you some bullshit about how it's part of the sport, everyone goes through it, they don't mean it seriously, etc.
posted by gucci mane at 7:47 PM on November 6, 2013 [4 favorites]


You can't fight them

Sadly, gucci mane, what Rolle and a good number of other players who are blaming Martin are saying is that Martin should have fought Incognito, that fighting to end the bullying is 'what a man would do' and that's pretty much the root of the problem.
posted by Ghidorah at 7:55 PM on November 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


Well, I mean. It's the same supposed solution as with playground bullies, innit? The other veterans, the bully's peer group, they need to be the ones to step up and say "dude you are being a stank ass sack of cocks right now and you need to quit this shit".

In reality nothing will ever change and the bullied will become the bullies.
posted by elizardbits at 7:55 PM on November 6, 2013 [6 favorites]


Seriously, what are you suppose to do?

What are you supposed to do? Why, you do what any Stanford-educated, NFL-tough man would do when dropped into a system stacked deep against him.

You toss your club-mandated plate of spaghetti, and change the fucking rules.

Serious here, as a deep NFL fan... Martin has my respect. Already, the establishment shills are all "BOTH sides are bad!"

Well, fuck no! One side walked away and got professional help when he was sure he was about to kick someone's asshole clean out his mouth. The other side got an "attaboy!" from the bosses for putting a black man back in his place.

I want Martin blocking for my home team. Tough guy, smart guy. Perfect O-lineman.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:58 PM on November 6, 2013 [16 favorites]


...in the Dolphins locker room, Richie Incognito was considered a black guy. He was accepted by the black players. He was an honorary black man.

"Richie is honarary," one player who left the Dolphins this offseason told me today. "I don't expect you to understand because you're not black. But being a black guy, being a brother is more than just about skin color. It's about how you carry yourself. How you play. Where you come from. What you've experienced. A lot of things."


Using the n-word isn't racist if your peers deem you to be black? Anybody want to try to explain this from a social construction of race point of view?
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 8:01 PM on November 6, 2013


Using the n-word isn't racist if your peers deem you to be black? Anybody want to try to explain this from a social construction of race point of view?

The bosses like the white guy better than they like you. Suck up or get cut.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:03 PM on November 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


Ghidorah: Sadly, gucci mane, what Rolle and a good number of other players who are blaming Martin are saying is that Martin should have fought Incognito, that fighting to end the bullying is 'what a man would do' and that's pretty much the root of the problem.

I imagine there'd be legal repercussions if they fought, but maybe not. There isn't anything in their contracts that disallows this?

Martin sounds like a standup guy and I feel bad that he's put in this terrible situation. Incognito seems like he has some real issues, although I am curious as to why some of these other players are saying he's a good guy.

This "men" stuff has always bothered me.
posted by gucci mane at 8:05 PM on November 6, 2013


Were you under the impression that most football players were adults?

As I've been reading about this, it really has been hitting home that the culture around football teams that many of us detest in high school never, ever changes. For the ones who are good enough (and lucky enough to avoid serious injury) to get to the pro level, they are always in a bubble where being the bully is supported and encouraged by those around them. Usually it's the team versus anyone else, but in such an environment of distilled aggression, anyone who comes into the room and displays weakness or does not respond in the expected, tough guy way (i.e., punches someone or proves they can dish out damage in some acceptable method) will become a victim of it.
posted by nubs at 8:07 PM on November 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


This feels weird to say here, but I actually was expecting those voice mails to be way worse. The impression I got from reading them was that he was fucking with Martin, trying to be as offensive and push as many of his buttons as possible.

To be totally clear, I don't think this excuses the words that Incognito used. I think it's absolutely true that when you use homophobic, misogynistic, or racist slurs like that, you end up doing the heavy lifting for homophobia, misogyny, and racism whether you "believe in it" or not. The Deadspin article is right on that even if other people of color on your team let you use the n-word with them, that doesn't mean you get to turn around and use it in a totally derogatory way to hurt someone else. But it seems like that's not really what the discussion about this blow-up is about - instead there's this weird emphasis on the fact that the voice mails seemed "threatening." Like, all of the other shit he did was cool, but add "I'm gonna kill you" in the context of what is very clearly a prank call and that's what's over the line? What?

The other thing is that I do feel kind of like Martin handled this like someone who had never been on the receiving end of this kind of shit before, and just didn't know how to react. That's not to say he acted "badly," exactly, but as someone who's been bullied and ostracized (for what sounds like similar reasons), I know I reacted in ways that just fed the fire, like acting standoffish or weird or blowing up in anger, and it sounds that Martin did too. I get that it's kind of a double bind - fight back and you're the aggressor, roll over or go higher up and you're a coward - but at the same time, throwing your lunch tray down is exactly the kind of outburst they're hoping to provoke. I really do empathize though - I'm really glad I haven't had to deal with that kind of stuff in a long time.
posted by en forme de poire at 8:17 PM on November 6, 2013


I guess we're going to have to get a bunch of kids make anti-bullying PSA's for NFL players now.
posted by KingEdRa at 8:40 PM on November 6, 2013 [28 favorites]


David Roth had a pretty good piece on the larger NFL narratives that play into this. The thing that kills me about it all is the reflexive defense about manly toughness, that Incognito is the sort of guy you'd want in your foxhole or next to you in a fight. Football is a game. It's supposed to be fun. It's not supposed to be war or a fight to the death, and talking about it like it is those things makes a mockery of all of them. Hell, people loved Brett Favre because "he's having so much fun out there" and "he's just a kid" or whatever. I happen to think that Favre is a tremendous asshole who should be banned from the league for his off-field behavior, but one of the things people liked about him is that he recognized on some level that it's just a game. It's like that Grantland column said: Winning doesn't require misery. There's not enough at stake in any football game to make it worth the destruction it causes when it's been militarized all to hell in the name of machismo, and every incident like this only further convinces me that professional flag football would be a better, safer, more pleasing sport in every way that matters.
posted by Copronymus at 8:42 PM on November 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


Was Richie Incognito wrong? Absolutely. But I think the other guy is just as much to blame as Richie, because he allowed it to happen. At this level, you're a man. You're not a little boy. You're not a freshman in college. You're a man.

When I say TOXIC you say MASCULINITY!

TOXIC!
posted by wemayfreeze at 8:44 PM on November 6, 2013 [8 favorites]


Copronymus: " It's like that Grantland column said: Winning doesn't require misery. "

Granted, my disgust with football is pretty apparent, but could y'all fans riddle me this: wouldn't this level of hazing have a negative affect on team cohesion? And thus be something that's bad for the team's ability to win?
posted by notsnot at 8:47 PM on November 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


I am just stunned by how many adult male reaction to this is that the Martin should've fought Incognito. I shouldn't be, but I am. I've heard several different men talk about how "that's how you stop a bully" It's bad enough we tell kids this shit but grown men...jesus.
posted by akaJudge at 8:47 PM on November 6, 2013 [4 favorites]


What strikes me about the chorus of "Martin should have stuck up for himself" responses is that it makes the assumption that he didn't. This is his second year with the Dolphins, so this has been going on a long time. How do we know, in all that time, he never responded in the way that Rolle or Tony Siragusa think he should have?
posted by chrchr at 9:13 PM on November 6, 2013


"Richie is honarary," one player who left the Dolphins this offseason told me today. "I don't expect you to understand because you're not black. But being a black guy, being a brother is more than just about skin color. It's about how you carry yourself. How you play. Where you come from. What you've experienced. A lot of things."

This is blowing my mind. "being a brother is more than just about skin color"? What?

I thought it was all about skin color. Whether you are a Stanford grad with highly educated parents or a person with more humble origins, there is a not insignificant percentage of white people that are going to view you as "other" or call you "nigger" like "Richie" did.

The only thing I can figure is that the African-American Dolphin players quoted in the above links have been cocooned in some kind of NFL celebrity privilege for too long. They are used to being recognized in and around Miami. They should try living somewhere where they would not be recognized for a while and see how that works out for them.
posted by mlis at 9:14 PM on November 6, 2013


I think he's bending over backward to give Incognito a pass because he's his teammate.
posted by chrchr at 9:17 PM on November 6, 2013


If all professional sports leagues were abolished overnight, I wouldn't miss a thing.
posted by Arbac at 9:33 PM on November 6, 2013 [7 favorites]


Russell Wilson goes to Seattle Children's hospital every tuesday night.
I've got the same problems others have, with publicly funded stadiums, concussions and now this Incognito crap, but here in Seattle, where the Hawks are having a good season to say the least, the culture seems to be somewhat different.
posted by OHenryPacey at 9:51 PM on November 6, 2013


Dolphins' GM Jeff Ireland (the lovely man who once asked Dez Bryant if his mother was a prostitute in a pre-draft interview) allegedly knew about the bullying and suggested Martin punch Incognito.

Will be very interesting to see who ends up taking the fall for this. Who's getting fired and who's gonna pay? I just can't decide.

God, I'd love for Ireland to be one of them. That dude has no concept of how the real world actually works and what is socially acceptable within it. I'd love for him to join it.
posted by nathancaswell at 10:04 PM on November 6, 2013


I want Martin blocking for my home team. Tough guy, smart guy. Perfect O-lineman.

No you don't, he's not very good at his job. But hey I'm a Dolphins fan, so if you want Martin on your line letting Brady get murdered a few times a game, go for it.

My take is that this was a bad combination of the sensitive Martin and the roided out freakshow that is Incognito, not any particular animus on Incognito's part. Martin sucked it up as long as he could because he was on the verge of losing his job - which I'm sure didn't help his mental state - and finally decided he was done. More power to him, I hope he figures it all out.

And if this ends up an excuse to fire the piece of crap that is Jeff Ireland, I'm on board.
posted by schoolgirl report at 10:15 PM on November 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


I imagine there'd be legal repercussions if they fought

gucci mane, again, a part of NFL culture is that fighting isn't taboo. Fighting during training camp, when you're practicing against the same person for a solid month, multiple times a day, it's pretty much expected. If there isn't a fight during training camp, there's almost always some commentator who will bring it up as a sign the team is soft.

The thing is, it's an intense, violent contact sport. Constantly slamming into another person who's job is just as on the line as yours is, it causes emotions to run high, and a fight, as long as no one gets hurt, is seen as a good thing, as messed up as that is. It's a pretty deep-rooted aspect of football, and, yeah, it's something I have a harder and harder time trying to gloss over as a fan.

If all professional sports leagues were abolished overnight, I wouldn't miss a thing.

Other people would.
posted by Ghidorah at 10:32 PM on November 6, 2013 [3 favorites]




If all professional sports leagues were abolished overnight, I wouldn't miss a thing.

Should we get rid of the Bolshoi Ballet too?
posted by alex_reno at 11:19 PM on November 6, 2013


This is highschool behavior. Any workplace where the people have THIS much time on their hands has serious time-management issues. And they get paid millions for this?
posted by manderin at 2:56 AM on November 7, 2013 [4 favorites]


It will be interesting how the NFL plays this...especially in light of their efforts to increase popularity of the sport with young females. These efforts stem from recent revelations about concussion and other later life disabilities and has many in the NFL worrying that mothers will not allow their sons to play the sport thereby leading to a reduction the talent stream. How do you combat this - you make future mothers fans of the game.

So how do you market the prison culture within NFL locker rooms to these new fans?

Devise a defensive scheme for that NFL.
posted by incandissonance at 6:35 AM on November 7, 2013


So how do you market the prison culture within NFL locker rooms to these new fans?

Devise a defensive scheme for that NFL.


Suspend Incognito for two games (Bucs and Chargers; only one of those will be actually competitive anyway) and have him go through "sensitivity training" with a carefully selected media-friendly but NFL-sympathetic "counselor" (who will spend most of the time coaching him on how to look appropriately penitent), shoot a few PSAs, let Martin get traded for a 10th-round draft pick, claim that the next such thing they hear about will really get the hammer dropped, and pretend the problem has gone away.
posted by Etrigan at 6:41 AM on November 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think you're underestimating the reach of this story and the NFL's desire to make it look like they're being reactive. I think anti hazing language and regulations will be added in the offseason. I also think, if it's true that the coaches both asked Incognito to toughen Martin up and knew about the bullying, jobs will be lost over this. Ireland is gone, and probably the offensive line coach as well. I don't think Philbin gets fired but I wouldn't be shocked to see a large fine levied against him or the organization (and donated to an anti-bullying cause) and it's possible the team will be stripped of a draft pick.
posted by nathancaswell at 7:08 AM on November 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Incognito and Martin: An Insiders Story
posted by nubs at 7:48 AM on November 7, 2013


What a load of bullshit. When we left him alone at lunch, it was FUNNY! Making rookies pay thousands of dollars for dinners is TRADITION! We tried to force him to come to Vegas and he dared to back out, so we HAD to take his money!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:53 AM on November 7, 2013


I think you're underestimating the reach of this story and the NFL's desire to make it look like they're being reactive.

The NFL's base reaction to any new problem is to be soft, with warnings of hardness the next time. Remember the Saints bounty scandal from last year that got the coach suspended for an entire year? The reason the NFL came down so hard was that they had "warned" the Saints in 2010 (that investigation clearly laid out that, well, we can't prove it, but hey, if anything like this is going on, cut it out), and the owner of the Saints had told his employees to stop, and they didn't. If they had, the NFL would likely have declared the case closed with only token sanctions.

Granted, the Saints bounty scandal didn't have the public exposure this one did, but it's really easy to paint Incognito (a known dirty player) as the bad apple (even though it's not really his fault, because hey, just boys being boys, y'know; so he's getting help and we're totally going to take it seriously now that people know it's a Problem) and not bring the hammer down too hard on everyone who enabled it without actually saying "Go be a huge asshole to that Stanford kid."
posted by Etrigan at 8:16 AM on November 7, 2013


Whenever racial issues make the news I look to see what Ta-Nehisi Coates has to say. This time, as usual, he doesn't disappoint.
posted by TedW at 8:37 AM on November 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


More from Grantland. Brian Phillips talks tough.

Interesting to me that whatever this "culture" thing is, it ain't working that well. On two levels: bankruptcy among former players at somewhere around 70% as well as lots and lots of suicides, and just for the Dolphins, their line play is horrible. To the extent that smart guys are worried that it's going to ruin a pretty good young QB.
posted by Trochanter at 8:57 AM on November 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


"The plague of NFL suicides might by itself hint at the severity of the desperation many players seem to find below the surface of America's favorite TV show."

"The Marines have a strict anti-hazing policy, but we need our fantasy warrior-avatars to be unrestrained and indestructible."

Some good stuff in that latest Grantland article. Thanks for the link.
posted by Atom Eyes at 9:08 AM on November 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Granted, my disgust with football is pretty apparent, but could y'all fans riddle me this: wouldn't this level of hazing have a negative affect on team cohesion? And thus be something that's bad for the team's ability to win?

I think there's something of a survivorship bias, where it works really, really well for a few people who go on to enforce hazing in the next generation because it made them who they are or something. I think for most people, it would be horrible and morale-destroying, not to mention the damage it would do to your ability to trust your teammates.
posted by Copronymus at 9:34 AM on November 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Love this quote by Coates:
On the streets of Chicago, violently confronting someone for disrespecting you is evidence of a "culture of pathology." In the NFL it is evidence of handling things "the right way."
posted by Danila at 9:38 AM on November 7, 2013 [6 favorites]


Incognito and Martin: An Insiders Story

Oh wow. As defenses go, that's like pleading not guilty while handing the judge videotaped evidence that you did it.

What an awful piece, in so many respects.
posted by torticat at 9:56 AM on November 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm still kind of astonished by the hypocrisy of the NFL's party line, like Coates and Phillips (and others) keep pointing out. "We're going to destroy your psyche because you need to be able to take infinite abuse, but it's a horrible, unforeseeable tragedy when you shoot yourself in the team's parking lot or throw yourself off the back of a moving truck," or, "Martin is a coward for complaining, but don't you dare put my name on that quote."
posted by Copronymus at 10:30 AM on November 7, 2013 [4 favorites]


Making rookies pay thousands of dollars for dinners is TRADITION!

This particular detail reminds me of the scene in The Sopranos where Paulie sticks Christopher with the tab for a lavish night out in Atlantic City, all in the name of tradition. (Christopher, needless to say, acts out his chagrin at this tradition rather forcefully.)

posted by scody at 10:32 AM on November 7, 2013


I don't know, I thought that linked piece was decent. I think it definitely highlights the idea that what's going on here is more like a culture clash than a simple story of one person persecuting another.

The main issue is that NFL locker-room and college frats (a recent example, or just google "vomlet") are part of a hypermasculine subculture that is increasingly out of step with the rest of modern, polite society. Many frats and locker rooms view themselves as like the military, in that aggression, dominance, and hierarchy play a similarly central role. This seems like part of why people are attracted to these sports and organizations in the first place - it's like the army, except you don't actually have to kill anyone. It's like watching a battle, but with less bloodshed. The important difference, of course, is that the military actually operates outside of civilian rules, while frats and locker rooms are technically bound by them. And so you get this shock when people from the outside are allowed a glimpse in.

It sounds to me like Martin didn't come from the same kind of background (he seemed like more in the "scholar-athlete" mold than a frat brother), which led to mutual mistrust and misunderstandings and, I'm speculating, to Martin feeding the fire of hazing by having emotional reactions that his teammates would have considered strange or out of proportion. (Incognito previously called Martin the "easiest teammate to scare.") In fact I'm willing to believe that Incognito never actually bore Martin any real ill will, beyond maybe some insecurity about his college degree.

I guess it just comes down to whether or not you believe that this type of subculture should have the privilege of operating to some degree outside the normal rules and laws of our society. I think "no" is a reasonable option, but let's be real, it would involve changing American culture and what we value in terms of masculinity on a very pervasive and difficult level, and it's not going to be solved by firing one bad actor or even ten.
posted by en forme de poire at 10:39 AM on November 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


One of the Coates pieces I linked above led to this, which I think helps explain why Incognito is such an asshole.
posted by TedW at 10:47 AM on November 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


We've heard many Dolphins people describing (and defending) their locker room culture, but I'm curious to hear what the culture is like in, well, actually successful NFL teams?
posted by Anything at 10:52 AM on November 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


One of the Coates pieces I linked above led to this, which I think helps explain why Incognito is such an asshole.

To be fair, I don't know if I would want to be judged by the opinions of my parents.
posted by en forme de poire at 11:02 AM on November 7, 2013


My heart breaks for Jonathan Martin, for he is truly a stranger in a strange land.

I read in the SI story linked above that ex-Dolphin Murtha said that Martin was "shy," and "didn't look people in the eye." To me, this strongly suggests why the team called Martin "Big Weirdo:" he is an Aspie. Despite his obvious intelligence and great physical gifts, he is not--nor can he ever be--"just one of the boys" in what is a crazy-making environment for someone who, through no fault of his own, is not a neurotypical, let alone a stereotypical jock. Even the fact that dining room antics by his erstwhile team mates caused him to finally snap supports this, for communal eating is never easy when one dreads the enforced interaction that normals prefer. It was not a "joke" for Martin to sit down and have everyone else get up--it was an encapsulated nightmare for a person who desperately wants to belong but who, despite his best efforts, cannot. I'll wager it was not the first time that his earnest and painful efforts to belong had been rejected--and not just in the NFL.

I'll also wager that Incognito was the useful idiot of the Miami management, who turned him loose to "toughen up" the Big Weirdo. He is now the fall guy for them, having gladly acceded to do something he was already acculturated to do: enforce conformity with "the code of the locker room." Had he succeeded, Incognito--himself a "stone rejected by the builder" before he got to Miami--would have further elevated his standing with the management and with the majority of the players, who could not fathom why Martin would pay $15K and not attend a carousal lost weekend in Vegas. Incognito probably thought that by enraging Martin he would, in turn, turn his fury into the sort of "toughness" demanded by the management. For the verdammte Miami GM to say that he was hoping Martin punched out Incognito is an admission that Incognito was not simply acting like an asshole on his own hook. For Philbin the coach to say he didn't know anything about the situation is an equally damning--and gutless, to boot--admission that Incognito's actions were not "unknown" to the Dolphin powers-that-be.

In this context, it is not at all surprising that the other football players are backing Incognito and not Martin: Incognito was a "made member" and Martin is not and never will be. (The Cosa Nostra allusion is intentional.) This is emphatically shown by the comments that Incognito was considered an "honorary brother:" a member of a fraternity that preferred to exclude the descendant of an illustrious line of Harvard-educated African-American professionals: a "half nigger," as it were.

However it ultimately plays out, the fundamental corruption of the Miami organization is on display. I am sad that Martin ended up there instead of in Seattle or San Francisco. If he is given a chance to play where he can admit that he *is* different and not be crucified *for* being different, I'm sure he will excel, notwithstanding his failure to accept the "code" of other men who are highly remunerated for their activities with an oblate spheroid. I am not so Pollyannaish to believe that will probably occur, unfortunately.

Lest I be accused of being nothing but an armchair diagnostician, let it be known that my opinion rests on my own experiences as a "big weirdo" here in football-crazed Florida. I can only express my wish that Martin believe in himself, stay strong, and excel in what he chooses to do, even if it is not football.
posted by rdone at 11:05 AM on November 7, 2013 [7 favorites]


> I am just stunned by how many adult male reaction to this is that the Martin should've fought Incognito. I shouldn't be, but I am. I've heard several different men talk about how "that's how you stop a bully" It's bad enough we tell kids this shit but grown men...jesus.

Here's the thing: it is absolutely ridiculous that we tell the bullied party that they should just fight back. It perpetuates the fucked-up, archaic idea that you can solve a dispute by hurting someone else, like it's the 1700s and we're dueling with pistols.

But when I hear "Martin should've just fought back," I think two things: (a) no, Martin shouldn't have fought back if he didn't want to; (b) if Martin had fought back, the abuse probably would've ended. Remember, Incognito had been told by Dolphins coaches that he should "toughen Martin up," and I'm sure that physical backlash was exactly what Incognito was trying to provoke.

I think this sort of abuse happens all the time, and that most of the people in Martin's position end up fighting back. It's admirable (even though Martin is probably not trying to make an overt statement) that he'd rather go "fuck you, I'm not fighting back" than succumb to this macho bullshit. The people who say "Martin should've just fought back" are stuck in the this-is-just-how-things-are mindset and can't see others' why-does-it-have-to-be-this-way arguments in the proper light.

I get why a team would want an offensive lineman to be "tough" and fiery. I'm sure those are great qualities to have on a football field. I'll never understand why you'd want to subject one of your own players to potentially poisonous abuse in pursuit of that goal.
posted by savetheclocktower at 11:07 AM on November 7, 2013


Aw, look: Incognito is quoting the Buddha on Twitter.
posted by Atom Eyes at 11:15 AM on November 7, 2013


To be fair, I don't know if I would want to be judged by the opinions of my parents.

Not just his opinions, but modeling this sort of behavior:
But if this is actually Richie Sr., it'll save writers a lot of time asking him how he feels about bullying accusations against his son, considering Richie Jr. was bullied as a child. A 2003 ESPN profile of the then-Nebraska player recalls how Richie Jr. was teased for his weight as a child, until his father told him "you can't let them keep doing it," and the young Incognito punched out his tormentor.
posted by TedW at 11:39 AM on November 7, 2013


I think that passage actually supports the idea that this conflict is the product of a cultural divide, and just not one asshole going rogue, as it's been portrayed in most media simplifications. After all, most of Incognito's teammates appear to support him and not Martin, and he appears to have been encouraged to step up the razzing by his coach. I think it's tempting but misleading to paint Incognito as some kind of bully from after-school special central casting.
posted by en forme de poire at 12:04 PM on November 7, 2013


Damn, I was reading that Sharp article on Grantland and getting spitting mad at all of the defeatist apologizing from the author:

But on some level, locker rooms will always be pretty removed from reality or any sane standards of decency, and we couldn’t change it if we tried.
---
Putting a giant group of guys in a locker room and asking them to compete every single day will probably always result in some twisted behavior that looks horrible if you start splashing the quotes all over the media.
---
Cheering hypercompetitve testosterone junkies on the field and then expecting civility everywhere else seems pretty naive, and judging the actions of Martin and Incognito as if they were two normal civilians is just as big a stretch.

If every collegiate athlete hears this story and decides to never stand for locker room bullying at the next level then the culture will change. And it's not like we're waiting for Justices to die either, the average NFL career length is something between 3 and 10 years so in a decade everyone who thought hazing rooks was A-OK is retired and likely brain-addled.

Dang, even the sarcasm-laden "It's all worth it to produce winners on Sunday, or something" implies a shrugging acceptance of an unalterable reality that's at least fun to watch. But he comes around in the last sentence to something I do agree with: the idea that treating people like crap in the end makes them better is total bullshit.
posted by carsonb at 12:08 PM on November 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


btw, rdone, I think that's a perceptive analysis. I'm not so sure Martin is on the spectrum myself, but even if he is neurotypical and is just a shy introvert with a tendency towards ruminating and analyzing rather than letting it all hang out, I think the argument you made would absolutely still hold up.
posted by en forme de poire at 12:09 PM on November 7, 2013


(to just add a little explanation to that, I was also called a big weirdo up through college, and if anything I am on the absolute opposite side of the Asperger's/autism spectrum - instead people made a big deal about how I was overly sensitive. I think it's also fairly possible that Martin could have a similar temperament.)
posted by en forme de poire at 12:17 PM on November 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


"The Marines have a strict anti-hazing policy..."

Sorry to triple-post, just wanted to respond to this really quick. Does anyone here actually believe this? The very fact that this article had to be written indicates that hazing is in fact common and pervasive among Marines. This kind of "policy" is just papering over the cultural schism so people can continue to comfortably be in denial about what this type of environment is actually like on the inside. I mean, just look at what the article actually says in detail:
Hazing is a relative term and is difficult to define in a military sense. The mental and physical stress we place on our recruits and officer candidates during introductory training probably would constitute hazing in a collegiate setting, but it is essential to building warriors.
i.e., their anti-hazing stance is mostly about appearing to be compatible with the broader society, not something that actually reflects the values or practices they have internally.
posted by en forme de poire at 12:31 PM on November 7, 2013


The very fact that this article had to be written indicates that hazing is in fact common and pervasive among Marines.

That article was written in 1997 in response to the very incidents which made the Marine Corps revisit their approach to hazing and institute a real policy. I have no first-hand knowledge, but others who do have claimed that the policy has had a real effect on hazing among Marines in the 16 years since it was established. Organizations aren't monolithic, changing attitudes toward hazing is possible, and 16 years is enough time and turnover for such a thing to happen.
posted by Copronymus at 1:04 PM on November 7, 2013


That's fair, and I'm glad to hear it - but I still think if you read between the lines they're saying that the most heinous excesses are what have to be reined in. The practice of hazing itself, meanwhile, is still seen as essential to molding aggressive and loyal soldiers, as the author acknowledges when he says that some level of what would commonly be considered "hazing" in a different subculture is in fact an integral part of becoming a Marine.

(And of course, it is greatly to the benefit of the organization that it is seen as being tough on hazing from the outside. It is also probably to the benefit of older officers to be unaware of hazing when it happens at the lower levels for the same reasons.)

And... to be totally frank, I don't know that this is always actually a problem. I think being trained to put distance between your emotional reactions and your actions is a good thing, overall, and it's certainly true that shared adversity benefits social cohesion. The problem comes I think for some people who are more predisposed to rumination, or who act in ways that are misinterpreted as hostile or even too individualistic. It seems like that could easily set off a feedback cycle where the people doing the hazing keep turning up the volume, trying to get the reaction they expect, and the person being hazed feels progressively more defeated and more negative about the whole situation, which makes their behavior seem like even more of a threat to the group's cohesion, etc.
posted by en forme de poire at 1:38 PM on November 7, 2013


the person being hazed feels progressively more defeated and more negative about the whole situation

Which would lead to a wash-out, and let's face it, this is about weeding the weak, too.

And also, what is boot camp in the first place, if not one great big institutional haze-fest?

Just back to football... My impression of Joe Philbin is that he's not this kind of guy -- more cerebral and (dare I say it?) gentle. He's pretty much owned the thing, too. Maybe he just gives good press release, but he's seemed kind of sincere to me.
posted by Trochanter at 1:50 PM on November 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Apologies if this has been previously posted*, but Matt Ufford's take on the utter lack of an anti-hazing policy in the NFL is a good read.

there are so many responses to this, and many of them are linking to each other, and it's getting hard to figure out where I found which link. This thread is fantastic, and I love that we can have in depth discussion about it here. The comments on a lot of the articles, there not as bad as they could be, but at least here there's no one trying to claim that hazing is okay.
posted by Ghidorah at 2:31 PM on November 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


From Grantland:

"The plague of NFL suicides might by itself hint at the severity of the desperation many players seem to find below the surface of America's favorite TV show."

I thought the suicides were due to neurological issues from playing so much, or am I thinking of something else? Wasn't there a player who killed themselves and said he wanted his brain donated to research for that reason?
posted by gucci mane at 2:34 PM on November 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Hazing creep", from that sbnation article, sounds like a pretty useful term.
posted by Anything at 2:36 PM on November 7, 2013


Whoops, disregard what I said. I just found the footnote on the side of the page that brings that up.
posted by gucci mane at 2:41 PM on November 7, 2013


I thought the suicides were due to neurological issues from playing so much, or am I thinking of something else? Wasn't there a player who killed themselves and said he wanted his brain donated to research for that reason?

There have been several players that have done this: most notably Dave Duerson and Junior Seau. Check out the devastating Frontline piece called League of Denial, which is eye opening.
posted by MoonOrb at 2:43 PM on November 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Here's the thing: it is absolutely ridiculous that we tell the bullied party that they should just fight back.

I disagree. But the way you might think.

What is surprising, to someone outside the kind of system that is the NFL, is how someone can be on a team sport, be around black men for years, and still use racist language like that much less have the kinds of ideas being thrown around.

But it's an artificial environment. And, as mentioned above, much like organized crime or other tight knit, exclusive organizations, there are certain expected behaviors.

It's an excellent idea to fight back against bullies in ways that are unacceptable to the bully. Publicity. Legitimate authority. Etc. Ultimately violence if necessary.
But that's not the kind of "fight back" they're talking about here. They are talking about an in-system codified method of fighting back and that makes the problem all the worse.

I've gotten into these situations with these kinds of people (a pro-football player specifically on an occasion) and they're not prepared for unscripted behavior.
It's one of the reasons I stopped being an athlete and didn't turn pro. At some point I can say "fuck you" and not have my back against a wall in terms of the lengths I can go.
Lot of money in wearing a leash though.

But, for example, my knee is worth, what, compared to yours? I end your career you lose how much? Who's going to get on your for that? You going to be sued for failing to hold up your contract? Really want to throw down given those limitations?

So genuine conflict resolution - that is - regardless of an artificial structure - isn't a consideration for these guys. It has to be in-house.

I think fighting back within the proscribed limits is a no win for Martin. But I think rejecting those limits, in this case, taking a walk, IS fighting back.

The general idea, at least as far as defending Incognito goes, has been to point back to the system. Hey, he gives guys a hard time, but he's funny/good for morale generally. Win football games. etc. etc.

He could be a great guy for all I know. That doesn't mean someone has to accept abuse as an integral part of the football program. Or accept that the NFL or any organization, is somehow exempt and apart from social decency.

That's why the details are mostly irrelevant. The NFL, and the players who buy into Incognito's behavior, believe that they don't have to conform to certain standards of behavior are wrong on principle.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:04 PM on November 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


> Wasn't there a player who killed themselves and said he wanted his brain donated to research for that reason?

Dave Duerson did this. He shot himself in the chest and said he wanted his brain donated to (what is unofficially called) the NFL's brain bank. Junior Seau shot himself in the chest last year but didn't leave a note.

But the Grantland article also references the Jovan Belcher incident; Belcher was only 25 and nobody seems to be suggesting, in his case, that CTE was a contributing factor.
posted by savetheclocktower at 3:05 PM on November 7, 2013


But the Grantland article also references the Jovan Belcher incident; Belcher was only 25 and nobody seems to be suggesting, in his case, that CTE was a contributing factor.

It's certainly a possibility. Chris Henry had it at age 26, and, at the very least, his own reckless disregard for his safety played a major role in his death.
posted by Copronymus at 3:17 PM on November 7, 2013


I think that passage actually supports the idea that this conflict is the product of a cultural divide, and just not one asshole going rogue, as it's been portrayed in most media simplifications.

I agree, but that's why I think the Murtha piece is so self-condemning (and not damning of Incognito only, but the whole culture). You have the "media simplifications" saying in effect how shocking, shocking it is that Incognito is such a bully, and then Murtha comes along and says, What's the problem, we all do it.

The only part of the abuse that Murtha acknowledges is problematic is this:
"where he really screwed up was using the N-word. That, I cannot condone, and it’s probably the biggest reason he’s not with the team right now."

But then at the end of the piece he says:
"What fans should understand is that every day in the NFL there are battles between players worse than what’s being portrayed. This racial slur would be a blip on the radar if everything that happens in the locker room went public."

So... is it a problem, or not? He's saying he doesn't think it is a problem. Well, he's saying both, but it's clear what he really thinks. But most of the public probably isn't going to agree that a bunch of manly men being assholes to each other is defensible, much less something to be proud of.

I'm still kind of astonished by the hypocrisy of the NFL's party line

Copronymus, I agree with you, and here's another example of it. Murtha says that Martin will never be accepted by another team, because the other players will think, "If I say one thing he’s going to the press."

Really? These "grown-ass men," these professional athletes, are going to feel silenced because they can't say "you half n**** piece of shit I want to shit in your fucking mouth"? They'll just be too scared to say anything?

It's pathetic. The Grantland piece was so refreshing after reading all the bullshit.
posted by torticat at 8:23 PM on November 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


BullyGate Continues to Get Worse
New developments continue to come down in the Richie Incognito - Jonathan Martin story, and Keith analyzes what the latest means for Incognito, Martin, the Dolphins, and the NFL.
Jason Whitlock Joins Olbermann
Jason Whitlock joins Keith Olbermann to discuss the new developments in the Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin bullying story, and explains what the "Incarceration Nation" mindset entails.

Here's a hint for anybody confused about it. If you call up a coworker and tell them "I want to shit in your mouth." or "I'll fucking kill you." or "We are going to run train on your sister. . . . She loves me. I am going to f–k her without a condom and c– in her c—." (which is the quote Olbermann won't even bowdlerize on the air) that is not hazing. That's a terroristic threat. Screw the coaches, Martin should have called the cops.
posted by ob1quixote at 2:12 AM on November 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


What I really want is an owner to step up and end it. No more hazing. Trade away all the tatted-up thugs and make it known that such people will never wear their uniform. Also trade everyone that won't smile for team pictures. Basically the way my brother runs his Madden team.

No seriously, he will not have a player on his team that isn't smiling in their Madden picture. He says, "They're taking your video game picture because you're a professional football player. That's the just about the awesomest thing you can have happen to you in America. Anybody that isn't beaming from ear-to-ear in that situation is somebody I don't want wearing my uniform."
posted by ob1quixote at 2:19 AM on November 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


What I really want is an owner to step up and end it.

HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! Oh, wait....
posted by Trochanter at 11:24 AM on November 8, 2013


Who Is Richie Incognito?
posted by nubs at 12:12 PM on November 8, 2013


"Bay Area sports radio host Damon Bruce is taking high heat over comments made during his show Thursday on KNBR 1050 — he has the noon to 3 p.m. slot, at least as of this writing — when he offered his take on the Miami Dolphins’ Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin hazing controversy.

Essentially: Women and “ultra-feminine sensitive” men are ruining sports.

“This is guy’s stuff,” Bruce said of locker room antics. “This is men’s stuff. And I don’t expect women to understand men’s stuff anymore than they should expect me to be able to relate to labor pains.”"
posted by rtha at 12:36 PM on November 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


“This is guy’s stuff,” Bruce said of locker room antics. “This is men’s stuff."

No, it's not. Since when is treating another human being like shit a manly thing to do?

This is part of the reason I quit playing rec league hockey - the discourse in the locker room was pathetic and I was tired of it. And we weren't playing for anything; nobody cares about a shit-ass team playing in a late night men's rec hockey league.

Whatever the sport: Go out, play hard, but recognize that treating people - even your opponents - with respect both on and off the field is just the fucking human thing to do. That should apply at every fucking level.
posted by nubs at 12:46 PM on November 8, 2013 [4 favorites]


This is not just me being a Bears fan (though it is partially) but Brandon Marshall -- who, despite some serious personal problems and legal issues, has become a great spokesperson for BPD and mental health issues in general -- had some great things to say about this.

“Look at it from this standpoint,” Marshall said. “Take a little boy and a little girl. A little boy falls down and the first thing we say as parents is ‘Get up, shake it off. You’ll be OK. Don’t cry.’ A little girl falls down, what do we say? ‘It’s going to be OK.’ We validate their feelings. So right there from that moment, we’re teaching our men to mask their feelings, to not show their emotions. And it’s that times 100 with football players. You can’t show that your hurt, can’t show any pain. So for a guy to come into the locker room and he shows a little vulnerability, that’s a problem.

"That’s what I mean by the culture of the NFL. And that’s what we have to change. So what’s going on in Miami goes on in every locker room. But it’s time for us to start talking. Maybe have some group sessions where guys sit down and maybe talk about what’s going on off the field or what’s going on in the building and not mask everything. Because the (longer) it goes untreated, the worse it gets.”


(article here, video at Deasdspin here)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:07 PM on November 8, 2013 [4 favorites]


There was a deleted post with this article by Jason Whitlock:
Martin walked into twisted world. He confronted an unrelenting, prison yard mentality in the Miami locker room. Mass incarceration has turned segments of Black America so upside down that a tatted-up, N-word-tossing white goon is more respected and accepted than a soft-spoken, highly intelligent black Stanford graduate. According to a story in the Miami Herald, black Dolphins players granted Richie Incognito "honorary" status as a black man while feeling little connection to Jonathan Martin. Welcome to Incarceration Nation, where the mindset of the Miami Dolphins' locker room mirrors the mentality of a maximum-security prison yard... I don't blame Jonathan Martin for walking away from the Dolphins and checking himself into a hospital seeking treatment for emotional distress. The cesspool of insanity that apparently is the Miami locker room would test the mental stability of any sane man.
It's worth a read.
posted by Penks at 1:24 PM on November 8, 2013 [4 favorites]


ESPN survey shows that more players in an anonymous poll would rather have Martin as a teammate than Incognito, though it's definitely not unanimous. 20% said Incognito, 47% said Martin, and 34% said neither.
posted by en forme de poire at 3:34 PM on November 8, 2013 [3 favorites]


MCMikeNamara, thanks for that article on Marshall. He's a fascinating person. When the Bears traded for him, I remember reading a lot about him being a 'headcase' how the Bears shouldn't have traded for him. Meanwhile, he's become very open and honest about his mental health, and I'd like to think that Chicago has been a good place for him, where the team and staff have been supportive. It's interesting to see the reactions to him, and to Metta World Peace (nee Ron Artest) and how open both of them have been about needing, seeking, and getting help.
posted by Ghidorah at 4:54 PM on November 8, 2013


Putting another nail in the "both sides are bad" coffin... ESPN surveyed 77 players from around the league anonymously, and when given a choice of who they'd want as a teammate, Incognito, Martin or neither, Martin was the overwhelming choice by more than ten votes over "neither" and by almost twenty votes over Incognito.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:49 AM on November 9, 2013 [1 favorite]




I'm curious why Martin needs someone to get his back?

I mean, I've been in some pretty macho environments, but most of the grab-ass was just grab-ass whereas the really seemingly dangerous stuff had a purpose.

Like, I get the "I'm going to kill your family" joke in the context that, say, I'm always over at your house, eating with your family, pretending to hit on your wife (or actually) or whatever. And that's bonding. If you don't come home tomorrow, your wife has no problem picking up the phone and asking me for money. And more than likely I'm already taking care of them if I came home and you didn't.

Where that goes off the rails is that I haven't seen major attrition figures in the NFL. There's a difference between using the language of bonding and having a pretense at bonding and actually being bonded.

For example Mike Ditka, who isn't exactly the most diplomatic of speakers, helped with lawsuits against the NFL to compensate retired players.

There's a vast difference between talking it and walking the walk.

Incognito, whatever he said, didn't have Martin's back in any way that could be called real.
His actions support divisiveness among teammates, even as they appear to aim at unity.

Specific slurs aside, the thinking itself, is what causes the divide and what has typically been used as a form of control to get people to accept less than they earn.
I might not be rich than I make more than a black or a woman or I'm better than a jew - whatever. It's always been used that way socially. Not only in the U.S. but throughout history.
Here, of late, it happens to be (although to a lesser and lesser degree) being "white." The Nazis used arbitrary "jewish looking" or "jewish acting" terms to oppress. The Romans used Roman citizenship (pretty much who had money and kissed the right ass).

Whatever else this is, it's not a professional environment and it's certainly not a team environment. Football is a team sport. So it's a fundamental failure in doing what it is they do for a living. Even given the most charitable perspective here, there's no excuse for it.

Actually, reminds me a bit of "Django." I read a review a bit ago that said that the plot was needlessly complex. That Calvin Candie must hate money, because why wouldn't he sell a slave? He's in the slave business. So he's needlessly hateful and stupid.

And reading it I sort of agreed. But on second though - well, yeah. It's not the hatefulness and stupidity that's the only problem, it's the needless, pointlessness of it.
posted by Smedleyman at 11:23 AM on November 11, 2013


Shannon Sharpe can be kind of a buffoon, but he had an impassioned speech about Martin, Incognito, and Incognito's use of slurs over the weekend.
posted by Copronymus at 11:57 AM on November 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


More than sticks and stones, Jason Whitlock, ESPN, 15 November 2013
The N-word is a not a generational issue. The N-word was never a fad. It was a primary tool in the enslavement, disenfranchisement and cultural destruction of a race of people.
posted by ob1quixote at 2:35 PM on November 15, 2013


In a similar vein, Keith Olbermann has an Official Announcement: "If you were offended by it, I'm sorry, and you will be correct in your inference that I am making the implication that it's your fault if I did something wrong." [Caution: Withering Sarcasm]
posted by ob1quixote at 2:01 AM on November 16, 2013




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