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  • 11/07/2013, 10:31PM ET

Joe Philbin's Handling of the Martin / Incognito Situation

Mil Town Proud (7-1-2) vs DO_WORK_SON (63-27-14)
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This isn't to choose a side in the debate, as there seems to be a breaking story every hour which changes our perception on this fiasco.

And a good portion of the media circus currently surrounding the Dolphins can be directly attributed to Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin. Somehow, Philbin came to the conclusion that the best course of action was to pour gasoline on the flames.

According to Brian Hartline, the Dolphins were encouraged by Philbin to "speak honestly and 'stick up' for themselves."

Rather than coming to the sane, rational understanding that the team should quietly defer any questions pertaining to Martin's absence and Incognito's suspension to management, Philbin instead opened the door to create an unwelcome atmosphere of hostility towards the accuser.

Would we see Belichick condone these interviews? Tomlin? No, those men would have enough foresight to realize the negative consequences of allowing the players free reign with the media.

By allowing players (and management) to publically show support for Incognito or intimate that Martin "handle matters himself," Philbin opened up the Dolphins to a litany of obstacles which will hamstring the franchise.


Who better to speak on the subject than the players directly involved with Jonathan Martin and Richie Incognito every day?

Unwelcome atmosphere of hostility toward the accuser? He invited the hostility by being a weak-minded little ****.

Anyone who stepped foot inside any male athletic locker room knows that there is hazing that occurs. Sure, maybe Martin felt Incognito or others went too far. So? Handle it like a grown man instead of running home like a child.

Obviously, those in the comment section heavily disagree with me, and I fully expect to be buried in this throwdown. However, Philbin did the right thing to let Martin's and Incognito's "brothers" put the facts out there.


Let's take a quick look at the two most prominent obstacles facing the Dolphins due to Philbin's ridiculous actions.

First, the Dolphins are legally liable for potentially enabling a hostile work environment. Martin is much more likely to return to work first, and what type of welcome should we expect when his teammates publically sided with his alleged tormentor?

Second, Philbin's decision only serves to further prolong the media distraction.

A simple decision to prevent players to discuss the situation beyond the generic phrase of "we support Incognito as a friend and teammate, even thoughtwe cannot condone the alleged behavior" would have gone a long way to put this story to rest before this week's games.

You think the media is going to let a ripe story like this die on its own? Not likely, when they can pump out stories with shocking headlines on a daily basis. I mean, ask the Patriots how much of a distraction Aaron Hernandez is at this point. How much of a distraction was Von Miller's suspension? These stories take a backseat to the games on Sunday.

Given the unprecedented access to the Dolphins players, don't expect this story to die anytime soon.


All I read was, "Forfeited Turn."

Am I the only one that finds it hard to believe that Martin has never been on the "tormentor" end of hazing, whether on the Dolphins or at Stanford? Furthermore, do we believe that he was receiving the worst hazing in the history of hazing? Who's willing to bet that Tebow's hazing was probably a bit worse? Who thinks Aaron Hernandez probably dished out some pretty vile hazing during his time in the NFL?

The reports of things that were said and the voicemails that have been made public sound horrid in the context of every day life, but anyone who has spent any time in a male locker room knows that those things are innocent compared to other things that are said and done within the locker room.

Oh, yes, the media. The media needed to be set straight. They always jump on the first bit of information they get and give a completely blurred view of what is going on. By doing so here, they painted Martin as some sort of defenseless victim while painting Incognito as a racist bully at best. Because the players were allowed to speak out, we now know that was not the case.


So rather than keep a quiet, united front supporting Incognito, Martin, and the investigation, the Dolphins decide to open the floodgates by allowing every Tom, Dick, and Harry to throw in their two cents.

Did Philbin think the NFL investigators wouldn't reach out to Dolphins players to gauge their responses?

Point blank, there is a professional way for a franchise to conduct itself, and apparently, the Miami way.

Now, the Dolphins drop a game to previously winless Tampa Bay with 2/5ths of its already shaky starting offensive line missing. Only Martin could've retured, and he has stated that he'd like to continue playing football, but doesn't think he can return to Miami.

If the players had tempered their overwhelming vocal support for Incognito, would it be possible that Martin would yet return this season? Instead, Martin saw the writing on the wall and has decided another team will be able to provide a more suitable work environment.

This leaves two major hole on an already porous offensive line and a massive PR headache for the franchise, which will not be able to recoup any of Martin's salary, due to the work environment fostered by Philbin and the Dolphins.


Temper their support for Incognito?

You've got to be joking. Martin walked out on the team, plain and simple. Such a volatile, emotional head case is not to be trusted. Why would the Miami Dolphins even want him back?

Why would/should the players do anything but give their support to Incognito? Martin essentially betrayed everyone. In the military, we have a phrase for how some situations should be handled - "in house." If you can keep the bigwigs out of your chili, you do it.

This was not a situation that needed public attention. Martin leaving in such a public way and sharing his unfounded frustration made it impossible for the organization to handle it "in house."

Martin deserves every bit of negative publicity he gets for acting like a child. The Miami players deserve to have their opinion voiced regarding the situation. Who could give a better idea of what was really going on to the public than the players involved?

November 8, 2013  02:13 AM ET

Hard to argue with this.

November 8, 2013  08:20 AM ET
QUOTE(#1):

Hard to argue with this.

Yeah! Don't the Dolphins have lawyers who should've warned everyone not to speak to the media about this until the NFL investigation was over???

November 8, 2013  09:32 AM ET

Impossible to argue with this.

Spot on, Gus...

November 8, 2013  11:46 AM ET

I like it when the word "litany" is used. I have a litany of reasons why I like it.

November 8, 2013  08:42 PM ET
QUOTE(#4):

I like it when the word "litany" is used. I have a litany of reasons why I like it.

the power of the pipe?

November 8, 2013  08:50 PM ET
QUOTE(#4):

I like it when the word "litany" is used. I have a litany of reasons why I like it.

Litany is an old Ojibwe term for "doubleassload".

November 8, 2013  10:47 PM ET
QUOTE(#6):

Litany is an old Ojibwe term for "doubleassload".

I like it when doubleassload is used. I have a doubleassload of...

November 8, 2013  10:59 PM ET

Right's argument is one of the most aggravating things I've ever read on FN.

This whole macho culture is empty and misguided. Half of ya'll would've been scared of Incognito, too, and the other half would probably have just accepted the hazing.

I feel like Martin proved his manhood by doing what he did. Everybody is crushing him, like he no doubt anticipated. But from now on when someone is being hazed in the NFL they will know how to make it stop, thanks to Martin.

In some ways Martin is a brave pioneer. In any case he's a lot more intelligent and respectable than all of you lugs who would prefer to smash each other's skulls in because you're too simplistic to find a real solution to the situation.

MLK would no doubt be proud of Jonathan Martin. Ditto Gandhi. The rest of you guys would at least have Dana White in your corner...

November 8, 2013  11:02 PM ET

And I'm six feet, 210 pounds. I was raised by a Midwestern man, a former offensive lineman. I myself am a former linebacker. I don't back down from any (unarmed) man, and I can't recall the last time I was afraid of another man. Been years.

And even I know Jonathan Martin handled it the right way.

At a certain point standing up for yourself is just an invitation for more trouble. Martin nipped this in the bud. Nothing wrong with that.

November 8, 2013  11:07 PM ET
QUOTE(#9):

And I'm six feet, 210 pounds. I was raised by a Midwestern man, a former offensive lineman. I myself am a former linebacker. I don't back down from any (unarmed) man, and I can't recall the last time I was afraid of another man. Been years. And even I know Jonathan Martin handled it the right way.At a certain point standing up for yourself is just an invitation for more trouble. Martin nipped this in the bud. Nothing wrong with that.

Not at all. It took a ton more courage to walk away than it would be to punch Incognito or, worse yet, bring a gun into the locker room to solve his problem.

November 8, 2013  11:09 PM ET

And I find it funny that all these internet tough guys think they're so much more manly and mature than Jonathan Martin, a 6 foot 5, 312 pound Harvard-educated behemoth who played pro football for a living.

One thing I've learned in life... the guys who insist on responding to every situation in life with violence (or at least swear up and down that's what they'd do) tend to be the biggest **** around. And the guys confident enough in their own physical ability don't run around the internet broadcasting their manliness for all to hear.

Like KG once insinuated, real killers don't brag about killing. Real killers don't ridicule others for not killing. A true guard dog won't ever bark at you.

Internet tough guys are the only people running around telling everyone how tough and manly they are, or criticizing others for not being tough enough, or whatever garbage everyone ow tossing at Martin these days.

November 8, 2013  11:10 PM ET
QUOTE(#10):

Not at all. It took a ton more courage to walk away than it would be to punch Incognito or, worse yet, bring a gun into the locker room to solve his problem.

Yes, exactly. Well said.

That's what I was trying to say, basically.

November 8, 2013  11:17 PM ET

Is the discussion legal protocol? Moral responsibility? Or cultural reality. All three are involved and create distinctly different behaviors.

Legally, everyone is best to just keep their mouths shut.

Morally, individuals should speak out before things get out of hand and peoples live are changed forever.

The culture of male aggression in sports nurtures the kind of environment where this behavior is not only tolerated, but as seen here, encouraged.

Can anyone who ever played or followed sports really say this came as a shock?

Even though I don't condone it, and wish there were a higher standard of behavior expected and demonstrated, this all sounded like the same old male dominance in group settings.

I find it funny to hear those in some media outlets wring their hands and moan about it like the Dolphins are guilty of some unique practice. They just got caught, and handled it stupidly.

November 8, 2013  11:22 PM ET
QUOTE(#13):

Is the discussion legal protocol? Moral responsibility? Or cultural reality. All three are involved and create distinctly different behaviors. Legally, everyone is best to just keep their mouths shut.Morally, individuals should speak out before things get out of hand and peoples live are changed forever.The culture of male aggression in sports nurtures the kind of environment where this behavior is not only tolerated, but as seen here, encouraged. Can anyone who ever played or followed sports really say this came as a shock?Even though I don't condone it, and wish there were a higher standard of behavior expected and demonstrated, this all sounded like the same old male dominance in group settings.I find it funny to hear those in some media outlets wring their hands and moan about it like the Dolphins are guilty of some unique practice. They just got caught, and handled it stupidly.

Cultural reality should never be used as a guideline, simply because our culture sucks.

IMO the biggest issue here is moral responsibility, and quite frankly everyone should know by now how to treat their fellow human beings.

And what happened in Miami should not have been allowed to happen. A true leader would've intervened on Martin's behalf. We should NEVER allow others to treat human beings that way.

Every person on this planet has a moral obligation to ensure the fair treatment of their fellow humans, and to attempt to stop any type of bullying on any level.

Legally speaking there may be no such obligations but to be frank a decent human being doesn't act (or not act) based off legal obligations.

And to me that right there is the problem... a lack of enough decent human beings in the world. If it's true that Martin was scared to stand up for himself, some other veteran leader on the team should have done it for him.

November 8, 2013  11:25 PM ET
QUOTE(#13):

Is the discussion legal protocol? Moral responsibility? Or cultural reality. All three are involved and create distinctly different behaviors. Legally, everyone is best to just keep their mouths shut.Morally, individuals should speak out before things get out of hand and peoples live are changed forever.The culture of male aggression in sports nurtures the kind of environment where this behavior is not only tolerated, but as seen here, encouraged. Can anyone who ever played or followed sports really say this came as a shock?Even though I don't condone it, and wish there were a higher standard of behavior expected and demonstrated, this all sounded like the same old male dominance in group settings.I find it funny to hear those in some media outlets wring their hands and moan about it like the Dolphins are guilty of some unique practice. They just got caught, and handled it stupidly.

IMO it's a cop out to say ot happens everywhere in sports.

For one thing, it doesn't, and for another thing, even if that was the case then obviously the onus is on authority figures in sports to change that culture.

Just because it's always been a certain way doesn't mean it's right, and it doesn't mean things should continue to be that way.

We need more trail blazers, folks not afraid to challenge the status quot. We need visionaries, leaders, humanitarians.

November 8, 2013  11:25 PM ET

quo*

November 8, 2013  11:28 PM ET
QUOTE(#13):

Even though I don't condone it, and wish there were a higher standard of behavior expected and demonstrated, this all sounded like the same old male dominance in group settings.

You may be right but we shouldn't allow that dominance garbage to continue. Whatever happened to all men being created equal? Certain inalienable rights?

Martin's rights were infringed upon. We can't enable that kind of behavior to continue by dismissing the hazing as typical male BS.

If we don't do our part to change that kind of mindset then from now until eternity, everyone victimized by bullies, their blood will partially be on our hands.

November 8, 2013  11:29 PM ET
QUOTE(#14):

Cultural reality should never be used as a guideline, simply because our culture sucks. IMO the biggest issue here is moral responsibility, and quite frankly everyone should know by now how to treat their fellow human beings.And what happened in Miami should not have been allowed to happen. A true leader would've intervened on Martin's behalf. We should NEVER allow others to treat human beings that way.Every person on this planet has a moral obligation to ensure the fair treatment of their fellow humans, and to attempt to stop any type of bullying on any level.Legally speaking there may be no such obligations but to be frank a decent human being doesn't act (or not act) based off legal obligations.And to me that right there is the problem... a lack of enough decent human beings in the world. If it's true that Martin was scared to stand up for himself, some other veteran leader on the team should have done it for him.

It would only happen in a more perfect world than we live in Brother.

I can almost guarantee you that those involved saw the situation very differently from where each sat. From those that thought it was all just initiation fun, to those that thought it was just a few jerks marking their territory to those that were disgusted with the behavior. And out of the "pack", there were probably only a very few that were acting with any malice.

November 8, 2013  11:35 PM ET
QUOTE(#17):

You may be right but we shouldn't allow that dominance garbage to continue. Whatever happened to all men being created equal? Certain inalienable rights?Martin's rights were infringed upon. We can't enable that kind of behavior to continue by dismissing the hazing as typical male BS.If we don't do our part to change that kind of mindset then from now until eternity, everyone victimized by bullies, their blood will partially be on our hands.

You've taken on a big challenge. But you can't stop at sports. You have to include politics, religion, as well as every other aspect of society where human beings gather in groups.

And it's not just males as recent news reports have pointed out quite regularly.

The goal is admirable, but I'm afraid changing centuries of human nature might prove problematic.

 
November 8, 2013  11:38 PM ET
QUOTE(#18):

It would only happen in a more perfect world than we live in Brother.I can almost guarantee you that those involved saw the situation very differently from where each sat. From those that thought it was all just initiation fun, to those that thought it was just a few jerks marking their territory to those that were disgusted with the behavior. And out of the "pack", there were probably only a very few that were acting with any malice.

8 suppose you're right about that perfect world but I feel like the least we can do is voice our intolerance of bullies. Let it be known we don't like it and will fight against it. Someone has to stick up for the downtrodden, the sickly, the physically weak, the mentally weak, etc.

And as far as intent from Dolphins' players, I don't know, but I would rather err on the side pf caution. Let it be known that there is no place for bullying in our society, regardless of the intent in said bullying

IMO bullying founded in humor is just as scarring to the victim as mean-natured bullying. And to a guy like me a bully os the lowest of the low. Pick on someone that can **** you up. Pick on a group pf people, instead of the other way around.

Nothing more pathetically sad than a man in a position of power bullying someone in a position of weakness.

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