If you follow the NFL, or even if you are not, you could be aware of the story of Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin. It became a major news story the last couple of weeks.
Incognito is a veteran offensive lineman with the Miami Dolphins. Martin is in his second year as an offensive lineman with the Miami Dolphins. From all indications, Martin and Incognito were very close friends. However Martin has left the team because of allegations of bullying by his teammates. The centre of this accusation happens to be Incognito.
You can listen to the interview Incognito did with Jay Glazer on Fox. Specifically, there is a voicemail that Incognito left for Martin that is discussed on this interview. Not to be simplistic, but the voicemail would indicate too me that Incognito was in a position of power over Martin.
Incognito will also go on to admit that the language that the locker room uses is in his words, “vulgar”. For many of you that have been in a team sports locker rooms, men or women, perhaps this does not surprise you. It is the language of the locker room many of you will say.
In addition, the Miami Dolphin teammates seem surprised that there was an issue. They reported that Incognito and Martin were close. It has lead many to question if Martin in over reacting?
Many of you that have spent time in a team sports locker rooms will also be familiar with the term “hazing”. There are times when the rookies will have go through to put it simply a “right of passage”. It can vary from anything such as being duct tape to a goal post, purchasing a veterans restaurant bill, which on a professional sports team can be a bill of over $10,000 , to something much more humiliating. In an effort to be “one of the group” the rookie will comply to the actions asked. It has been looked on as a term of endearment.
Now although it is not specifically addressed in this interview, it is a question that is being asked as a result of this. The question of if it time to ban hazing. This is not the first locker room incident and it won’t be the last.
For help on the definition of hazing, I will add this link. This is from the hazingpreventions,org http://www.hazingprevention.org/hazing-information/hazing-definitions.html
It explains their view in what hazing and the questions to ask.
For you that have been on a sports team, I would love to know your thoughts. Is it time to ban hazing? Or are people over reacting to this situation?