The recent suspension of Miami Dolphins guard Richie Incognito over the hazing of a teammate has created shockwaves throughout the NFL and news outlets.
Dolphins offensive tackle Jonathan Martin reportedly left the team’s facilities last week when he was harassed during lunch by some of his teammates. Martin did not make an attempt to return to the Dolphins’ facilities following the incident.
The NFL and the media have tabbed Incognito as the main reason for Martin’s departure from the team. Sources have confirmed to ESPN that Incognito left a profane, violent and racial charged voicemail on Martin’s phone.
In lieu of an investigation by the NFL the Dolphins decided to suspend Incognito “for conduct detrimental to the team.”
What has followed Incognito’s suspension is a nationwide discussion divulging the prominence of hazing in the NFL and other sports, and also what is considered hazing by different people.
Some former NFL players have made comments surrounding the recent turn of events in Miami.
Former Saints offensive lineman Kyle Turley told CNN that he had been involved in a hazing incident as a rookie where he, along with other rookies, ran through a hallway with pillowcases on their heads while teammates punched and kicked them.
Former Dolphins running back Ricky Williams told CNN that the NFL is “like a closed fraternity. It’s really not made for everyone.”
Some NFL personnel, while not defending Incognito, have said that Martin did not handle the situation correctly.
One person in the NFL, speaking on condition of anonymity, said to Sports Illustrated that Martin is a weak person for not confronting Incognito for his bullying of him. Another source speaking on condition of anonymity said “guys are going to be guys…you handle it in house—fight, handle it on the field, joke about it.”
The conversation will last for a while on what is hazing compared to joking, what is going too far and what does being an NFL player means when being bullied.
The staff of The Tech Talk agrees that hazing should not be tolerated in the work environment, or anywhere else.
There is a definite difference between hazing and joking, and that the line should not be crossed when trying to interact with someone else.
One should also think before you haze or joke with someone how your actions will affect you in the long run. Is a brief moment of humor worth a history, or lifetime, of being known as a bully, or worse?
If you cannot conduct yourself without potentially harming someone else, maybe you should keep to yourself.