BOSTON (CBS) — I’m not sure what is going on in the Miami locker room, but I have been around the NFL for more than 20 years and I have never heard anything like this before.
I always work on the premise that I know very little and my knowledge comes from listening to those who know more, and then I apply it to the situation at hand. So here we go.
The locker room culture is a tier system — it always has been. That’s in all sports. Football, though, is different. The money isn’t guaranteed and veterans are told they have to help one player out, who in turn could take their jobs. That’s a tough pill to swallow.
Socially, there are things that go on in locker rooms, things that are said, that would make normal everyday people freak out. That’s why I truly believe this is their culture, hard for any of us to grasp.
A man quit his job — his livelihood — because he was being bullied. This man’s job also was to bully other men on the field. It just does not add up. Richie Incognito has shown himself to be a bad guy in the past but in that Miami locker room, he is beloved. Not one bad word had surfaced from that locker room to say something negative about Richie. Yet, the young man who was supposedly getting bullied is getting trashed.
Should Martin have stood up to Richie? I guess, but they worked side-by-side. It’s hard to believe they could coexist if things were really that bad. At 6-foot-4, 340 pounds, why not stand up for yourself? Why not just say “stop,” if bullying was the case? To push someone so far that they leave something they love is riding close to the edge.
There are enforcers in hockey and basketball, and they could be considered bullies. Brushback pitchers in baseball could be considered bullies. There is no defined role for bullying in football and the first time it’s heard, it’s in the locker room. I need more. I need to hear more, especially from Martin.
I’ve talked to players in the Pats locker room and their general consensus was that doesn’t happen here. Players from other teams have said the same thing. Veteran players who are now retired have said that sort of thing has never happened. It’s hard for me to believe this is the first case. I just need some more information. It’s just not adding up.
Follow Levan Reid on Twitter @LevanReid.