Football’s “Unknown” Disgrace

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In Wednesday’s USA Today:

“NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has appointed Ted Wells, a prominent New York-based criminal lawyer, to direct an independent investigation into issues of workplace conduct involving the Miami Dolphins.

Wells will prepare a report for Goodell that will be made public.

The investigation was announced Sunday, shortly after the representatives for Dolphins tackle Jonathan Martin handed over alleged evidence of harassment by guard Richie Incognito that led to Martin’s departure from the team last week.

Incognito, 30, was suspended for conduct detrimental to the club Sunday night. Under the terms of the collective-bargaining agreement his suspension can last no longer than four weeks.

Martin, 24, remains on the Dolphins’ active roster but is undergoing counseling in California, a person with knowledge of the situation told USA TODAY Sports on Monday. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly on the matter.

Dolphins coach Joe Philbin has said he and the team weren’t aware of any alleged harassment until Martin’s reps provided evidence Sunday.

“Under league policy, all employees have the right to a workplace free of any form of harassment,” Goodell said. “We are fully committed to an appropriate working environment for all NFL personnel.”

Well, isn’t that just so textbook. Everybody playing nice now in the sandbox, because one idiot was unable to do so. And sadly, the other guy decided to pick up his marbles and head out, rather than address the issue with his Coach.

What about his teammates? Didn’t anyone of these big, strong men think it was odd that Incognito kept bullying Martin, for no as yet disclosed reason, and not have the temerity to come to Martin’s defense when the hazing got out of hand? Where was the camaraderie of team? Where was the general human decency one person should show another?

But the biggest problem here IS Coach Philbin and his team of coaches, who conveniently became ostriches, stuck their heads in the sand and saw nothing. Really?  Anybody buying that? Think about it. There is Philbin, the Head Coach, the special teams coach, the offensive and defensive co-ordinators, and about 10 other assorted and sundry coaches. And even a General Manager who is involved in day-to-day activities.

Nobody saw any of this?  Wasn’t anyone in the locker room or the cafeteria? Where were all these people, at South Beach? The Latin Quarter? Or the Keys?

Incognito has had the reputation of being a jerk, a fool for his entire career and his mindless childish behavior needs to stop. The very definition of his name is to be unknown or to be unrecognizable. It is about time he disappears from the sport. He wont be missed.

If this is a racially motivated event by Incognito, what does it say about his core values? The NFL is the most racially diverse and integrated sports in our country, yet what does this incident say about its core values as a league? Doesn’t this incident matter in the scheme of racial progress over the last 50 years? And, what does it say about the values of the black players on the team? Thee, not me?

The NFL has a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) with the players union, which says that a player may not be suspended for more than four weeks. It needs to accelerate the investigation and make certain this idiot does not play football in the NFL, at least, again. As far as any other team, in the CFL or elsewhere, signing him, remember that this man will only bring upheaval and discord to your clubhouse.

The next time Bob Costas wants to sermonize or lecture anyone about an important issue of the day, perhaps he should talk to Richie Incognito and lecture him instead, about racial and human values, rather than preaching about the name of an 80 year old, storied franchise, which, to most Native Americans, finds no offense. How about it, Bob, are you up to THAT challenge?

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