With the unfolding story with the Miami Dophins, yet another aspect has been brought to light. Namely of the coaching staff telling Richie Incognito to “toughen up” Jonathon Martin.
The Sun Sentinel, citing at least two sources, reported Tuesday that Dolphins coaches asked Incognito to toughen Martin up this spring, after Martin missed a voluntary team workout.
The entire situation has now abruptly been turned into a rehash of “A Few Good Men” starring Jack Nicholson and Tom Cruise.
In the movie, a solider named Santiago wasn’t up to snuff and was hurting the unit by being weak, both physically and mentally. As a result, Col. Nathan Jessup ordered a “code red”, basically ordering 2 marines to rough Santiago up in hopes of toughening him up to become a productive member of the unit.
Long story short, Santiago had an unknown medical condition that inadvertently killed him during the code red and he died. That wasn’t the intent but that was the result.
Snap back to reality and the Miami Dophins seem to be play acting the entire movie out.
Martin missed some OTA’s and the coaches asked Incognito to toughen Martin up. Unbeknownst to them at the time WAS NOT Incognito’s methods but rather the mental weakness of Martin to stand up to them. The result ending with Martin, like Santiago, in the hospital.
Now we have the fallout. In the movie the 2 marines were put on trial for murder, made to be scapegoats and berated as monsters for most of the film.
Similarly to how Incognito has been suspended from the team, facing termination of his contract and how everyone in the media looks to make a statement on how he’s such a racist and terrible person.
Except the truth of the matter may be rather different indeed. This is also where real life diverts from the film.
Incognito’s teammates are supporting him and actively trying to diffuse the attacks on him. Black players and white.
Center Mike Pouncey and Wide Receiver Mike Wallace both have given statement in interviews stating that they want Incognito back. In their interview with Chris Carter for ESPN, both Pouncey and Wallace told Carter that they feel comfortable with Incognito as a teammate, saying they feel he is not getting a fair defense in what has become a national controversy. Going on to say that they they have “respect” and “love” for Incognito.
If Richie Incognito is such a vile and horrible racist why would 2 black teammates be so willing to go to bat for him when they don’t have to. They could easily just regurgitate the usual company line of “we’ll let the team handle it, blah blah blah.”
But they’re not, they most fervently reject the idea of Incognito being a racist.
“Richie is honarary,” said one player who left the Dolphins this offseason. “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.”
The more I looked into this story the odder it was seeming that Incognito would just go off on a true racist tirade, and leave it to traditional media to sensationalize a story before actually doing any investigating. But after a couple of days the one piece that was missing seems to be revealed. The Code Red.
For anyone who has been in the military or on a football team such a notion of working someone over in order to get them to improve is not unheard of. And I don’t necessarily mean physically either. I’ve had drill sergeants and coaches alike screaming in my face saying…just some god awful things. Either you crack or you rise above.
In this situation it seems as if Jonathon Martin cracked.
And remember, it wasn’t the phone call or Incognito himself that was the straw that drove Martin to go to the hospital for emotional distress. It wasn’t only Incognito that stood up and left the table when Martin sat down to lunch, it was the entire team.
As Mike Pouncey puts it in regards to players in the team cafeteria standing up from their table when another player sat down:
“had been played on many Dolphins players ‘dozens’ of times. Even coach Joe Philbin has been a target of the prank.”
Did Richie Incognito take it too far? I suppose, because he failed and Martin didn’t toughen up but quit instead.
But does that make it Incognito’s fault? I wouldn’t let a bull watch my china shop during a red tag sale because if I did it wouldn’t be the bulls fault for breaking something, it would be mine for putting him there.
So too is it the Dolphins fault for ordering the code red and as such Richie Incognito should be reinstated to the team, like this teammates of all colors want.
But will the Dolphins ever come out and officially tell the truth about the matter?
We shall see.
Send this to friend