When someone says the word bully, you might think of a big, buff kid taking lunch money from a scrawny little nerd, but definitely not a 312 pound offensive lineman being bullied by a 319 pound guard. Strangely, this is exactly what allegedly happened to the not-so-scrawny Jonathan Martin, an African American Stanford grad. This isn’t confirmed though, and is still a question that could lead to big changes in the NFL.
Richie Incognito, who, at 7 pounds heavier supposedly bullied Martin into a number of things, including paying $15,000 for a trip to Vegas. Incognito also left a voicemail with both a racial slur and a threat to kill Martin’s family, and made everybody stand up and leave as soon as Martin sat down in the cafeteria.
Both sides of the story have been argued , with Incognito’s teammates generally taking his side, saying that this type of hazing was common procedure for all new team members. This is a common problem, happening in college frats, and, in extreme cases, involves risking one’s life because of alcohol poisoning.
More recently, after a walkout by Martin, the team placed him on the non-football injury list and signed D.J. Campbell, a free agent out of the Carolina Panthers organization.
Incognito was charged with a suspension that will last until the NFL’s investigation is over. Incognito will be “welcome backed” according to left tackle Bryant Mckinnie. Says Mckinnie “I think he got along with a lot of people in here, so I don’t think it will be a bad thing if he comes back in the locker room.”
With the investigation continuing, who knows if Incognito will be back, or if Martin will play football anymore. But this instance definitely brought attention to this problem, and hopefully something will be done about it. If the NFL decides to make major changes, this could trigger changes in university fraternity rituals as well.