Just three days after Miami Dolphins lineman Richie Incognito was suspended for his controversial actions against teammate Jonathan Martin, a report by additional sources indicates that there is more than meets the eye with this bullying incident. According to the South Florida Sun Sentinel, Incognito was encouraged by members of the Dolphins’ coaching staff to “toughen up” and “get [Martin] into the fold” after Martin missed two days of voluntary Organized Team Activities (OTA) workouts. Even though OTA workouts are completely voluntary, coaching staffs still strongly encourage players to attend. But at the same time, coaches cannot force their players to do so.
I don’t know about you, but this sounds like a spitting image of the classic Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson film, “A Few Good Men.” I feel like at any moment Cruise is going to appear on televisions nationwide screaming and demanding for the truth about the matter. I for one would find it extremely entertaining if Jack Nicholson interjects Cruise’s demands by yelling “you can’t handle the truth” dressed in a Dolphins coaching uniform, headset and all. But in all seriousness, if this report is in fact 100 percent true then this coaching staff could be in for a heap of trouble. And as if things couldn’t get worse for the Dolphins, the NFLPA might be jumping into the mix as well because of how far the coaching staff and Incognito took this since this type of activity has apparently been going on for quite some time. Incognito could also face extortion charges if Martin decides to take this another step further.
I am not implying that NFL players should not be subjected to the common traditional initiations to a team, and I understand the intentions of Miami’s coaching staff were to erase those soft spots in Martin because football is a physical game. But Incognito’s actions were without a doubt over the line. Anytime you have a guy voicing death threats to a fellow teammate for not attending practice you’re going to open up a can of worms. But at the end of the day Incognito was just another “cadet” following orders from his “commanding officers.”