Re: Did anyone watch the Jay Glazer interview with Richie Incognito?
posted at 11/11/2013 9:04 AM EST
In response to prolate0spheroid's comment:
It seems like there are two hypotheses I'm hearing here:
1. Martin didn't want to play football anymore or wasn't cut out to do it, and rather than just deciding to quit and do something else, he decided to sue to get money. In this view, the presumed harassment suit, should it occur, would be purely fabricated in a ploy to get money.
2. Martin found the locker room atmosphere at the Dolphins emotionally intolerable and, after trying to put up with it and even participate in it for a year and a half, finally decided it was too much and was messing with his head. At some point (either before or after leaving), he decided he still wants to play NFL ball, but not in an atmosphere like that of the Dolphins' locker room. However, being under contract with the Dolphins for two and half more years, he can't just go look for another job as an NFL lineman unless there are grounds to void his contract. In this view, the harassment claim (which may or may not become a suit) is what Martin is relying on to get his contract voided and become a free agent.
My instinct is that scenario two is more plausible, given what we know of the events and also what little I know of Martin's past history and his background. However, as I said above, we don't have sufficient evidence to know for sure at this point, and we'll have to wait and see what happens.
I have said before that I think this suit raises some interesting questions about the CBA that both the league and the union are, I'm sure, quite concerned about. A premise in the CBA is that a contract can't be voided by a player, only by the team. But if the team fails to protect a player from harassment, is the contract still valid? I suspect Martin's case is really intended to call that into question. If this is Martin's claim and he wins his argument, the NFL is going to have to change the way it does business. Preserving respectful behaviour in the locker room will become a responsibility of the team, and something they must do if their contracts are going to remain valid. Personally, I think that's a good thing in the long run. Remember all the complaining about so many NFL players being arrested this offseason? Part of that is tolerance of a "thuggish" mentality under the assumption that you need to be thuggish to compete well. Personally, I think that's BS. Maybe I'm naive, but I still believe in the ideal of sportsmanship, and believe it's possible to be both competitive and respectful of others. The Martin case may provide the test to see if that's really possible.
Put me down for a third theory. Martin plays in one of the most stressful jobs in the world. From skipping offseason workouts to playing poorly he was criticized by the media, fans, teammates and coaches for poor play. This peaked when he was replaced at left tackle, another dissapointment in a career of missing expectations. He snapped and walked out. When this story grew he needed to provide answers. Answers came in the form of blaming everyone else.
I have a real problem with you saying they need to "preserve respectful behavior in the locker room." It appears you have a definition for that in your head. Does that mean no swear words? No criticism? I don't know. What if I say someone looks good, and try to kiss them? What if that someone is a person I'm dating- now it's different because she is not offended. If you try to set a standard it will constantly change. It's a standard that is defined by whether the accuser feels offended- so it could include everything or nothing. Where I work people may be offended if I took all my clothes off and changed at work, in a locker room that's acceptable.
You can't make one standard for acceptable behavior because what you may find acceptable others may not and vice versa. You can't dictate what people must be offended by and what they won't.
Sure Martin could have had a strong case he was offended- if he didn't use the same words, make the same killing jokes, wasn't on video laughing about using those jokes, didn't participate- maybe even said something to a coach or teammate that it bothered him. But his actions don't add up here, the other players in that locker room have just as much of a case against Martin harassing them as he does against them harassing him.