Bullying Incognito

Richie Incognito, Miami Dolphins offensive lineman, is suspended indefinitely by the Dolphins and now faces an investigation from the NFLPA. His punishment stems from reports of Incognito bullying his teammate and partner on the offensive line, Jonathan Martin, who recently left the team citing emotional distress as his primary reason for leaving.
By now this has become common knowledge throughout the football and sports community. Until recently, however, Richie Incognito, was not a name that bounced around set of Sports Center often. As his name coincidentally indicates, Incognito was relatively hidden from the limelight of sports media, with the exception of the few die-hard Dolphins fans that are still out there. In a fashion that only the most stereotypically ignorant offensive lineman can manage, Incognito has burst into the spotlight and flooded headlines for the first time in his career only because he stupidly chose to bully another player. Wait, not just another player, his own teammate. Again, not even just his teammate, but his fellow offensive lineman. Is it just me or is that as back-words as it sounds?
Incognito not only did a disservice to himself, but he managed to take him team down with him. The Dolphins are now down two offensive lineman, the two being Martin and Incognito, of course. To further screw his team over, Incognito has also cast a rather unfortunate hardship on his coach, Joe Philbin, as well as the other coaches and management staff. While they work around this changing lineup they are also plagued by tough choices regarding Incognito’s future, proper handling of the media, and the responsibility to prove they were not made aware of the bullying prior to this media storm.
While Dolphins staff and fans are undoubtedly furious with Incognito, there is another group of individuals that should be outraged by this reckless behavior: offensive lineman. How easy is it now to revert back to Hollywood’s fictional portrayal of big, dumb lineman? It is so easy to picture Incognito, the clichéd large, mean lineman, bullying guys in the locker room. Can you not picture this stereotype perfectly? I know I can.
Sure, his target was another large guy on the line, but Martin, 24-years-old, has only two years of experience in the NFL compared to Incognito’s nine. It is hard to be the new guy anywhere, but imagine trying to be the new guy in a locker room or field filled with guys averaging over 6’ feet in height and considerably larger than the average American man. You would be lying if you said that scenario did not intimidate you at all.
As for Incognito’s future with the Dolphins nothing is official, but it is likely that his suspension will ultimately result in being cut entirely. After the NFLPA investigates it is likely that Incognito’s future in the NFL will meet its end, too. Rumors have already begun to emerge exposing his bullying of other teammates dating all the way back to his time at Nebraska. Now, the only thing for sure is that Richie Incognito finally got the fame to go along with his fortune, only to be the most hated person in sports (who might also lose out on that fortune due to penalties and job loss).




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