November 9, 2013

"To African Americans on the Dolphins, [Jonathan] Martin was a 6-foot-5, 312-pound oddball because his life experience was radically different from theirs."

"It’s an old story among African Americans. Too often, instead of celebrating what makes us different and learning from each other, we criticize more educated or affluent African Americans for not 'keeping it real.'"

A black WaPo columnist criticizes black football players for siding with their white teammate and not the black teammate (whose parents both went to Harvard, and whose father is a college dean and mother is a lawyer).

ADDED: The Daily News interviewed the Giants' Lawrence Taylor:
"Martin wouldn't be allowed back in my locker room... I understand Incognito may be a bad guy, but all that stuff should have stayed in the locker room. I don't know if I would let Incognito back in the locker room either, but he would be allowed back in my locker room before the other guy would. They are texting each other like two women. I don't understand that.... If you are that sensitive and weak-minded, then find another profession.... That's the way I feel about it. This is the NFL. This is football. This is not table tennis. This is not golf. I don't know how you bully a 350-pound player."...

"If he's calling you n----, there's a whole bunch of black people in the locker room. Call a team meeting," LT said. "You stand up and ask the coach, ‘I want a few minutes,' and ask the coaches to leave." Then you say, ‘I've got to get this off my chest.' That's when people are going to respect you. At some point, you got to be a man. But it's a whole other league now from when I played. Now you got to take your lawyer with you to work. This should have been handled in-house. (Martin) took the dirty laundry out for everybody to see. Everybody is evaluating and investigating unnecessarily."

Taylor said the n-word was tossed around plenty in the Giants locker room. "I have a lot of friends on the team who used the word n---. You know where they are going with it," he said. "If they used it in a derogatory way, then we got a problem. You don't have a problem with just Martin, you got a problem with all of us. That's how you stop that s---."

53 comments:

Skyler said...

Six foot five, 312 pounds professional football player is not consistent with any concept of bullying that I am familiar with. That's more consistent with coward and sissy.

There IS a difference.

cubanbob said...

I live in Miami. Tough guy assholery isn't uncommon down here. Maybe Crack can offer us his take on the matter.

Freeman Hunt said...

I don't think it's possible to evaluate this situation without knowing something of football culture. The racial humor and racial remarks are constant and unending in college and, especially, NFL football. It's like a bunch of Walt Kowalskis, if Walt Kowalski were affable, of different races. It's completely different than regular, popular culture.

Sorun said...

Jonathon Martin doesn't appear to have any tattoos. Definitely an oddball.

Lyle said...

The more facts come out the more Martin sounds like the problem. Which is amazing actually.

Oh, the Stanford kid... it can't be him, because, well, he went to Stanford.

Tank said...

Martin is acting too white.

All that damn studying and all.

MayBee said...

I think Martin went to Harvard Westlake in LA for high school. I don't think this is very much about race, but is very much about raising kids in a bubble wrap environment.

traditionalguy said...

This is the subject of the year. Does higher education and civilized conduct offend the Mafia mentality of N J and Miami enough to be treated with Group Sadism, or does smarting have an appeal to a higher authority?

The psychopath has met his match. Good job Martin.

Henry said...

Three things:

Table Tennis is not for the weak minded. Call Long Ma weak minded? Would you have called Bruce Lee paunchy?

Keep it in the locker room? Like concussions were kept in the locker room? Maybe being a man is about how you act in the full light of day, not what you can get away with in the closed club.

Jonathan Martin may be an anomoly among football players, but football players are anomolies among athletes. They all have gone to college.

traditionalguy said...

Does Martin have an appeal... yes he does. Bully brutes are nothing. We handled the KKK by standing up to them here in the South, and Martin can handle the NFL's mafia as we'll.

Tom said...

When Paul Brown owned the Cincinnati Bengals (and was coach of the Browns before that), Martin is exactly the type of player he wanted -- SMART! You look at players that played for the Bengals when Paul Brown owned the team -- a lot of them are on TV. Boomer Esiason, Chris Collinsworth, who earned a law degree while playing football, Salomon Wilcots, Bob Trumpy. Further, guys like Bill Walsh and Sam Wyche came out of the Paul Brown system. He was actually the first coach to employee intelligence and personality testing. (Of course, the Bengals went downhill and started drafting thugs after Paul Brown died and his son, Mike, took over).

The point I'm trying to make is that there was a time when football required extremely intelligent players and Paul Brown won an awful lot of championships with smart players. No doubt, locker rooms aren't for the weak minded or the sensitive. But teams also have to preserve their talent and create a place where that talent can thrive. Miami is not doing that. And it doesn't look like the NFL does that as a rule.

Michael said...

Martin was a Classics scholar at Stanford. Doubly insulting to the poorly educated teammates. One would hope he dient quote Cicero. Then again it appears he learned little from Epictitus or Seneca.

Michael said...

Martin was a Classics scholar at Stanford. Doubly insulting to the poorly educated teammates. One would hope he dient quote Cicero. Then again it appears he learned little from Epictitus or Seneca.

vandylawdawg said...

Honestly, I think Jonathan Martin comes off as Charmin ultra soft. Based on how he is described by his fellow teammates, I don't believe their problem with him was his Stanford education or his intellect...it was his lack of fire and passion for the game (and for standing up for himself). Ritchie Incognito may be a bully but what I think he was trying to do was push Martin's buttons so he would show some fight, show some heart...but Martin never did. It didn't have to come to fists but he needed to stand up for himself in order to earn their respect but he did the exact opposite...he ran away...he hid behind his lawyer.

Bob Ellison said...

Stanford.

FullMoon said...

Had a friend who was drafted for NFL.
He was all state high school ,and outstanding in college b ut could not cut it in the NFL.

He told me college ball is a 'nother game, NFL is a whole 'nother world.

To be a really tough guy, you have to have a mean streak. Just being big doesn't make you tough, so what?

I always smile when people insinuate" if it was me, I woulda stood up to him, or " if I was there, blah blah.

In the real world, if you beat down a psycho, you have to watch your back, waiting for retaliation with a weapon or maybe at home in the middle of the night , or from him and a bunch of his friends.

Curiously, it takes a bit of courage for a guy in such a violent sport to expose himself to ridicule for being a sissy.

kimsch said...

Because you have to side with those whose skin color matches your no matter what. This is where most of the actual racism resides in this country.

And on the other quoted material: the N word was bandied about, and if it's used by people "of color" it's okay. And maybe a bit okay by teammates that are not "of color" as long as it's not used in a derogatory manner. If it's a word that people not "of color" can't say then people "of color" shouldn't say it either. Either everybody can use it, or no one can use it. Period.

Mark said...

For how long will the NFL `keep it in the locker room'?

That will not last forever.

For the league, getting this over sooner [and without threats of massive lawsuits] is a wise thing.

Just because they did it that way in the bad old days doesn't mean that's how it should [or will] be in the future.

Football has enough problems without adding to it this. I thought Brandon Marshall [now of Bears, but was a Dolphin in 2011] put it well with this quote:

"Take a little boy and a little girl. A little boy falls down and the first thing we say as parents is ‘Get up, shake it off. You’ll be OK. Don’t cry.’ When a little girl falls down, what do we say? ‘It’s going to be OK.’ We validate their feelings. So right there from that moment, we’re teaching our men to mask their feelings, don't show their emotions. And it’s that times 100 with football players. You can’t show that you're hurt, you can’t show any pain. So for a guy to come into the locker room and he shows a little vulnerability, that’s a problem. That’s what I mean by the culture of the NFL. And that’s what we have to change."

Sadly, it's only because of the N word that this is being covered at all. Death/mother-slapping/dump-taking threats don't mean a thing to self-described tough guys.

Hagar said...

I don't think Jonathan Martin needs these people. He is well out of it.

William said...

Incognito comes off looking bad. There's no way to spin his behavior so he looks good. I don't recommend you go to Lawrence Taylor for moral insight on any matter under the sun, and the fact that he supports Incognito is a mark against Incognito...... Jonathon Martin is probably in the right, but he's right in the wrong way. You just don't expect offensive linemen to negotiate problems among themselves in such a way. I don't know how Martin should have handled it, but perhaps there's a better way. In any event, he'll probably win a suit worth a bundle, and Incognito will go on to a lucrative career as a celebrity spokesman for American Express. "Use American Express and you"ll be recognized even when you travel incognito."

grackle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Phil 3:14 said...

Martin shouldv'e just recognized this culture (the pro football one) wasn't his and moved on. Why did he have to make it a "I'm the victim" thing. Now its all racist, bully mixed up.

I'm waiting for folks to look at the agents as provocateurs.

tim maguire said...

Lots of people in the locker room say n---------?

Little help here, how do you pronounce that?

MadisonMan said...

Sunshine is the best disinfectant.

Titus said...

Harvard and Stanford are considered very bad in some communities.

Kchiker said...

I’m very very happy to see that the power of these institutions is slowly dissolving. When you have an institution interfering with the rights of an individual, the institution needs to change.

It is mere tradition (inertia) that dictates that rookies spend tens of thousands of dollars to buy dinners for (millionaire) team veterans. There is no good reason for it. It’s just how things have been.

When even a pro-football locker room is asked to adhere to some minimum standard of civility, you know things are a’changin.

Freeman Hunt said...

Is sunlight the best thing for personal relationships? Team members seem to be much more tightly bonded than regular co-workers. It's not a normal job. It's too intimate to be like a normal job.

handworn said...

This illustrates one of the main points of Thomas Sowell's "Black Rednecks and White Liberals"-- that black street culture has its origin in southern redneck culture, which in turn has its origin in the primitive 18th century Scottish and Irish culture of the people who emigrated to the South.

Essentially what the white and black players were demonstrating here was redneck solidarity. I don't know if it's comforting or not that we've moved on from racial solidarity if this is its successor.

William said...

Something about this worries the mind. I'm not criticizing Martin. But there's something inappropriate about a three hundred pound NFL lineman showing this much sensitivity. Martin has been wronged, but you just expect a different set of conflict resolution skills in someone of his bulk. You ever know a little guy with a big mouth who is forever throwing his non existent weight around. Martin is just the opposite. He occupies less space than his weight merits......Well, no matter. He has been wronged, and the Dolphins will probably settle for a sum larger than he would have made as a lineman. And he won't have to worry about early dementia and arthritic knees......Incognito will probably come out ahead too. He is the most instantly recognizable asshole in America. You can make money off that kind of fame. Pro wrestling. A bit part n Bridesmaids II or as the love interest in the next Madonna movie. Maybe as the paid spokesman for the American Florists Association. I could see him reminding everyone to send flowers on Mother's Day and really making the message memorable. Anyway he'll find some way of making it pay......In America nothing succeeds like excess, and this man personifies excess.

jacksonjay said...

I hereby propose an intervention by Bill Maher and Michael Moore! These two "wanna be" brothers could teach Martin what it's like to be Black!

grackle said...

Something about this worries the mind. I'm not criticizing Martin. But there's something inappropriate about a three hundred pound NFL lineman showing this much sensitivity.

It's always amusing to see a commentor write that they are not going to do something and then do that very thing in the next sentence.

What I'm having a difficult time with is imagining how even a large, strong man takes on an entire football team. I don't think such a reluctance would be due to "sensitivity" so much as a desire to survive. Let's be real. One man cannot take on a whole team in the locker room anymore than one could during actual play on a field. That's what those supposed allies, teammates, are for. To even the odds. But that didn't happen.

I too doubt Martin will play again. Why should he? As for Incognito, sure, he'll play again. How else is he going to earn the money to pay his share of the judgement debt from Martin's lawsuit? But I'll bet his racially-based harassment of black teammates is somewhat curtailed on his future teams. Not all black players are as OK with the N-word as the Miami Dolphin black players seemed to have been. He may have some unpleasant surprises in store.

Gary Rosen said...

"Harvard and Stanford are considered very bad in some communities"

e. g. Yale and Berkeley

James said...

Its always amusing when whites presume to speak for black people.

Its not enough that the majority of black NFL players appear to at least tacitly support Incognito; the black players are too stupid to realize that they are supporting the wrong person and they should automatically back Martin.

It couldn't be that these black players know more about the situation than has been publicly disclosed so far.

Trashhauler said...

Coming from an culturally upscale background, Martin is doing what we are teaching all of our children to do. Don't retaliate against the bully because "violence doesn't solve anything." Appeal to higher authority who have the responsibility to keep you safe. Demand that the system be changed because it is unfair. And finally, give up after the whole thing blows up in your face and you find out those authority figures were more interested in covering their asses than addressing the problem.

Mary said...

It's not a normal job. It's too intimate to be like a normal job.
------

*Ah, but you best keep those 'non normal' pracices under wrap...

You're thinking like a sheltered housewife and mother, not like a lawyer or a paid worker.

Mary said...

Poor freeman, with her films, her sons, and her lack of education.

She's been reduced to her non-thinking body parts and thinks who hits harder sets the meeting sites, and you just bop bullies in the nose.


(She homeschools, like the reynoldses.)

Mary said...

Somebody compliment her looks quick, or pat her head soon, please...

Mary said...

And finally, give up after the whole thing blows up in your face and you find out those authority figures were more interested in covering their asses than addressing the problem.
---

LOL.
Homeboy isn't 'giving up' until the checks have been signed.

They messed with the wrong 'nigger' this time, it seems. Education matters after all. Education outside your family confines...

grackle said...

On hazing itself: I think there's a different situation in the pros as opposed to high school and college.

'Offensive Lineman' in the pros is a job title. The Miami Dolphins is an employer. When the so-called hazing escalates to a level of interfering with the ability to perform the job it puts itself outside the realm of schoolboy pranks, initiations, rites of passage and other youthful pecking-order behavior. These are adults trying to earn a living.

Its always amusing when whites presume to speak for black people.

It's even funnier when whites ignore workplace harassment and racial discrimination because a few blacks are taking the side of the folks that pay their salary.

Bob Loblaw said...

I was an athlete in college; not a football player though. The football players on campus were the biggest dicks around, by far. Not all of them, but most. You can be tough on the field without being cruel off of it.

Bob Loblaw said...

Are we finally having that vaunted national conversation on race? Cuz the usual pedantic preceptors seem a little confused about who they favor in this one. I'm more used to them telling me what to think, as Caucasians are only supposed to be on the receiving end of these great conversations on race.

Quasimodo said...

crabs in a bucket angry with the one who got away

Mary said...

Quasimodo said...
crabs in a bucket angry with the one who got away
----

lol.

Freeman Hunt said...

I wonder how much longer there will be an NFL.

Roger Sweeny said...

Well, if they all used the n word, they are all racists, and they all should be fired.

Doug said...

Way too much overthinking and over-emoting on this issue. I think this is all about money, and the fact that Martin didn't have the $15K he was expected to cough up. He was ashamed, couldn't face the guys, blamed Incognito (had it coming) for the insults and needling, and finally had to run to his lawyer.

Doug said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Phil 3:14 said...

Professor;
I just don't get this supposed "comment moderation". One of your more notorious (and I thought banned) commenters appears solely to ridicule and add nothing to the conversation and what happens?


nothing

Drago said...

Well, that Duke thing and that Zimmerman thing and those eleventy-jillion fake "racist scrawl and KKK hood on campus" things haven't worked out too well.

Gotsda find something new....

Mary said...



Freeman Hunt said...
I wonder how much longer there will be an NFL.
-----------

a long, long, long time...
like hockey, it can clean up.

other mother's sons will play. bet on it.

Freeman Hunt said...

I think the average career lengths will get shorter. Some retired players have said they had fun but left because was too hard on the body, and they didn't want to keep going and spend the rest of their lives with joint problems. Everyone is so huge and powerful in the modern NFL that all of them take quite a beating. And after playing well in college football, booster loyalty is such that they're guanteed good employment, or so I've heard it said.

Henry said...

Freeman Hunt wrote: I wonder how much longer there will be an NFL.

Over at ESPN, the lede for Rick Reilly's current column is this: "Knowing too much about the NFL fills Sundays with dread."

Reilly is mostly talking about the concussion issue. In one sentence he sums up the state of mind of any mildly aware football fan. Because, implicit in the dread, is that fact that you, the fan, really care about Sunday.

It's the great Joe Posnanski who sums up both Martin and violence in this must read column: A Game We Play. He quotes retired lineman Bill Curry:

Vince Lombardi used to tell us, ‘you don’t mature like regular people.’ That used to make me so mad. I would think, ‘I’m a man. I’m a husband. I’m a father. I’m not some kid.’ But, like with most things, he was right. All NFL players are teenage males. I don’t care if you are 37 years old. You have to be a teenage male to play that game at that level.

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