The Wells Report on the Miami Dolphins bullying scandal finally came out last Friday. Most of the findings were no surprise.... Richie Incognito is an asshole.... young, testosterone fueled males in a closed environment can be cruel to each other... Martin was a victim afraid to stand up to his peers.
I use the word 'scandal' very loosely in this case. Doesn't a scandal usually involve some laws being broken? This whole ordeal boils down to grown men calling other grown men names, and making disparaging remarks about one's family. Scandal? Hardly.
Many observers think that professional football players should act like business professionals. They are comparing a pro football team to a banking or real estate office. Some say since these guys are professional football players they should be held to the same standards as other professionals. Okay, but you can't go halfway on this.
If players are to be held to professional standards in the locker room, make sure they meet those standards elsewhere. Trash talking, name calling, and cursing during games? Heaven forbid, that would never fly at Delta Airlines. Throwing punches between teammates EVERY day during training camp? The professionals at IBM would never copy that behavior. Cutting their hair and hazing first year co-workers? I'm thinking that is a no-no at OK Magazine.
These are only a few examples of the difference between the NFL and our everyday workplaces. You can't bury Incognito while ignoring all the other non-professional, violent actions occurring in the NFL on a daily basis.
In no way is this meant to excuse Incognito for being a jerk. He is not the first player to act like this, though. The NFL needs to send a clear message, and Martin's upcoming lawsuit will send one even clearer.