November 04, 2013

Dolphins Suspend Incognito For Bullying, Intimidation Towards Miller: Bullying rears its ugly head in the troubling allegations towards Dolphins offensive lineman Richie Incognito against fellow lineman/teammate Jonathon Miller. Miller left the team last week, apparently due in large part to the treatment he says has been aimed towards him.

posted by dyams to football at 06:18 AM - 28 comments

Martin. Jonathan Martin.

Our offensive line is especially offensive this year, for a number of reasons.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 08:15 AM on November 04

Kevin Seifert's Studs & Duds column last night also pointed out that Incognito isn't helping his own case with his twitter comments, which are basically threats.

posted by LionIndex at 10:34 AM on November 04

I'm surprised at this. I knew rookies got hazed, but these are supposed to be adults. Hitting them for money so hard that one player is allegedly broke? Making a teammate pay $15,000 for a Vegas trip he's not taking? By the time this all comes out Incognito is going to wish he was invisible.

posted by rcade at 10:48 AM on November 04

Incognito is going to wish he was invisible

Or in the Witness Protection Program. He's a shoo-in - he won't have to change his name.

He's bringing further fame and glory to the land of Parcells, and is also continuing a time-honored tradition of noteworthy conduct on the part of former Cornhuskers.

Don't you wish he was a basketball player so he could get called for traveling?

posted by beaverboard at 11:29 AM on November 04

Apparently the surname "Incognito" isn't much help when trying to disguise yourself, if Richie Sr. is anything to go by.

posted by yerfatma at 12:24 PM on November 04

The voicemails Incognito left Martin are offensive as hell. He and his dad are real prizes.

posted by rcade at 01:16 PM on November 04

It is despicable that grown men think they can treat someone like this.

Not only did he bully him behind closed doors, but Incognito Sr.'s (alleged) allegations of suicide and mental instability will hamper this kid's ability to succeed and earn a big contract in the future as he'll be considered a flight risk. He's going to be dealing with those, founded or not, for the rest of his career.

I say this as a pretty big sports fan - every story I hear about systemic issues of bullying, racism, homophobia, covering up medical risks, sexual assault on kids, dumping huge financial liabilities on cities, and cheating/doping - it gets a little bit harder to invest my hard earned time and money in them.

posted by dfleming at 01:53 PM on November 04

The stuff about rookies being used as ATMs by veterans is the most troubling part of the story.

You've got kids out of college getting decent money on a relatively short contract, regardless of the goodies that boosters might have shoved their way under the table. This might be their one shot as professionals, and they're being told that instead of using that salary to plan for the future, they need to be bankrolling the older players -- on higher NFL minimums -- because that's just what happens as part of the circle of life? Bollocks to that.

posted by etagloh at 02:07 PM on November 04

I've never done fantasy sports, so my player organizational aspirations tend to travel along somewhat different avenues.

Such as: double bunk this guy with Hernandez.

Or, if the dad gets roped into it too, quad bunk the two of 'em with the distinguished Ligue father and son act.

(Side note: Herm and a few others commenting on this story have apparently sold a vowel - and a consonant - to Pat Sajak and are referring to #68 as "Cognito").

posted by beaverboard at 02:14 PM on November 04

if Richie Sr. is anything to go by.

To borrow a phrase from Bugs Bunny--What a fucking maroon. You've got to wonder how much of this bullying/hazing is institutional to the NFL, how much is organizational to the Dolphins, and how much was nurtured carefully into little Richie by dear 'ol dad. Regardless, this is going to be an interesting story going forward, I think.

posted by tahoemoj at 02:50 PM on November 04

Not only did he bully him behind closed doors, but Incognito Sr.'s (alleged) allegations of suicide and mental instability will hamper this kid's ability to succeed and earn

Although I believe the US legal system is more about money than law, I hope in this situation Martin finds good representation and brings charges against both Jr and Sr.

Can anyone see a scenario where the NFL or the Dolphins allow Jr to play another down of football ?

posted by cixelsyd at 03:23 PM on November 04

Can anyone see a scenario where the NFL or the Dolphins allow Jr to play another down of football ?

Incognito's contract ends after this season; smart money's on the following: not only has he already played his last down in Miami, even if Goodell allows him to play in the future he's likely played his last professional down, period.

posted by NerfballPro at 03:46 PM on November 04

Can anyone see a scenario where the NFL or the Dolphins allow Jr to play another down of football ?

Sure. Probably not for the Dolphins, though.

Incognito enters some bullshit program aimed at reforming him, does some community service and is back next year. Chris Culliver didn't miss a down of football for what he said last year. Riley Cooper was openly racist and sought counselling and is still on the same team. There's a culture of tolerance, so long as the impact on the NFL's reputation is contained.

posted by dfleming at 03:57 PM on November 04

Assuming the allegations are true (and its hard to believe that they're false), one hopes this will be a wake up moment for Incognito and for any other players engaging in this sort of behavior. You shouldn't behave in a way that would have gotten you expelled from middle school as a grown adult.

That said, I can understand the Dolphins not wanting to keep him after this season. I hope that he does get some counseling (some of the reports mention he's already had some anger management counseling over the years) and can continue to play, hopefully as a more humane teammate and a better person.

posted by Joey Michaels at 05:16 PM on November 04

The Rams let Incognito go because he would not avoid committing penalties that consistently hurt the team. Besides which, he was not that great at playing football. His antics continued with Miami, although he seemed to have slowed the penalties down a bit. So what you are left with is a marginally competent player who is a cancer in the locker room. Any General Manager who offers him a contract should be required to submit to a psychiatric examination.

posted by Howard_T at 05:47 PM on November 04

Heh. I was unaware of his time with the Rams. Yeah, if he's an average NFL player at best, who needs him?

Well, maybe Tampa Bay.

posted by Joey Michaels at 06:38 PM on November 04

I don't know about marginally competent - wasn't he a 2012 pro-bowler? Last article I saw at ESPN about the issue said that Miami team officials have said that Incognito won't play for them again.

posted by LionIndex at 06:56 PM on November 04

A Miami fan hosting on local radio said Incognito is the team's best lineman this year. It's a significant loss to get rid of him. He even predicted that with Incognito and Martin out, the Bucs will get their first win of the year playing the Dolphins next week.

posted by rcade at 07:31 PM on November 04

Can anyone see a scenario where the NFL or the Dolphins allow Jr to play another down of football ?

I think he'll definitely end up playing again somewhere. Michael Vick got another chance.

posted by rcade at 07:33 PM on November 04

Can anyone see a scenario where the NFL or the Dolphins allow Jr to play another down of football ?

The Dolphins? After the way the leadership dumped Chad Ochocinco/Johnson last year, I have to say no. I'll be interested to see what they do though, as when the Dolphins had three Tackles on the field against Cincinnati on Thursday, that was all of their active linemen.

If they cut him despite having no one behind him but the nearest street free agent it'll say a lot about the organisation.

I wouldn't be surprised to see him get a chance somewhere else though. It's a stretch to say he's the Dolphins' best lineman this year, (despite the line being largely terrible), but he's one of those mean road graders you need inside when you're asking someone to run into 300lb dudes, sixty times an afternoon.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 09:14 PM on November 04

Incognito may have some ability as an offensive lineman but his intelligence, making those types of comments and having them part of a record that can be traced by Martin and used to implicate him, makes me think he has done this before, to other players, and gotten away with it. It would be interesting if Martin has Incognito arrested for his actions then gets a restraining order put in place. That's how similar issues are often dealt with in the real world. That would really force the Dolphins hand with regards to how they ultimately handle the issue.

posted by dyams at 05:32 AM on November 05

Steelers could use a lineman and they seem to not care about character anymore.

posted by Debo270 at 08:45 AM on November 05

In today's "not surprising" news stories, the NFLPA sees their only role in this as holding clubs and teams accountable for providing a safe environment. So, a player-oriented problem involving other players, and the player's association doesn't see a role for themselves in making it any better.

posted by dfleming at 10:28 AM on November 05

If only there were someone to teach Richie how to act civilized.

posted by yerfatma at 10:33 AM on November 05

Gawd, that croquet clip is choice. Then there's Incognito's membership on the team's leadership council. This story is proving to have limitless potential.

Philbin is a special piece of work. This from the morning USA Today web page:

Dolphins coach Joe Philbin pledged Monday to fix the team's workplace environment if the NFL's review revealed a problem.

Lord save us all. Don't take charge or take any responsibility for your own locker room. Hang back and let the league come in and sort it out. 10 Jason Taylors and 20 Dan Marinos wouldn't be enough to compensate for the top to bottom leadership void on the current club. If Philbin donated his body to science, they would decline the spine.

You look at the circumstances that the Bucs, Jags, and Dolphins are now in, consider that the state of Florida is currently 4-20, and it's bound to be just a matter of time before Pat Robertson lets us know just what it was that the Sunshine State did to anger God so terribly.

(I'm thinking national election irregularities, not the South Beach lifestyle).

posted by beaverboard at 11:29 AM on November 05

consider that the state of Florida is currently 4-20

That's probably not going to help, but it might relax the clubhouse a bit. And they could probably use Ricky Williams anyway.

posted by yerfatma at 12:06 PM on November 05

the state of Florida is currently 4-20

I thought that was only legal in Colorado and Washington?

posted by MeatSaber at 06:46 PM on November 05

Dolphins coach Joe Philbin pledged Monday to fix the team's workplace environment if the NFL's review revealed a problem.

I just completed a training course on sexual harassment so I could continue working with our church youth group. Part of the course dealt with the requirements on reporting harassment of any type in the workplace. Simply enough, once anyone in an organization is aware of harassment, he or she must report it to the authority having control. (I believe this would be a coach, general manager, or team executive.) If the competent authority does not take action to stop the harassment, the authority and his organizational superiors have broken a federal law, and may be subject to some serious penalties. If Martin or his family were to enter a complaint, Miami could find itself in some real trouble. The failure to report possible sexual harassment on university property is what got Penn State into such hot water. While Martin was probably not sexually harassed, it makes no difference. The laws pertain to workplace environment, and extend to all types of harassment.

posted by Howard_T at 03:43 PM on November 06

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