By Scoop Fox
Remember early this year, when Eagles wideout Riley Cooper opened his mouth and inserted his foot? How about when former Patriots TE Aaron Hernandez got arrested for murder. Everybody was jumping at the opportunity to give their opinion, their take on those subjects. However while people were busy focusing on those issues, they were turning a blind eye to an even bigger problem brewing down in South Beach in Florida.
On the Wednesday before the Miami Dolphins' Week 8 showdown against the Cincinnati Bengals, OT Jonathan Martin suddenly left the team out of the blue during lunch time that day. When asked about it, he merely cited "emotional issues" as the cause for his leave. After their 22-20 OT win, DE Cameron Wake was asked in the postgame interview about the issue. He basically said it was a team issue and that they would welcome back Jonathan. Most people who heard that thought the problem was over and done with. However it was only the beginning.
This past Saturday, it was found out that Jonathan left the team because he was harassed by his teammate, OG Richie Incognito. At first Richie tried to defend himself, saying he had tried to reach out to his teammate and accused ESPN's NFL reporter who broke the story, Adam Schefter, of slandering his name. An investigation was launched by the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) to figure out was happened. What they found was disturbing.
The next day, on November 3, 2013, the NLFPA had a breakthrough in their investigation. It was found out that Richie, in fact, was the reason why Jonathan left the team. Since 2012, Richie forced Jonathan to pay for various items and trips, including a $15,000 trip to Las Vegas, for the entire team. Richie then went as far as to harass Jonathan, leaving various texts and voicemails that included racial slurs towards his teammate as well as threatening to physically harm Jonathan or his family should the young offensive lineman report him. Then as of today, in the wake of the startling revelation, the Miami Dolphins suspended Richie indefinitely on the grounds of conduct detrimental to the team.
In the NFL, there are some instances where veterans sometimes play pranks or tease the rookies. They would shave their heads, make them pay for dinner, tell them to carry their shoulder pads, or make them sing their college's 'fight song.' But what Richie Incognito did was inexcusable. He stepped over the line and went out of his way to harass his teammate, bullying and intimidating Jonathan do to whatever the 10-year veteran wanted. But what's scary was that it was found out Richie was the ringleader in this whole mess. People should not be surprised if more Miami Dolphin players involved in the matter are exposed.
Football is supposed to be about team comradery, that you and the other guys on your team are your brothers-in-arm and will have your back through thick and thin. But what's happening in Miami shows a darker side, that sometimes you have to keep an eye out and look over your shoulder. Otherwise you'll be pulling out a dagger that was stabbed in your back.
This is Scoop Fox, signing off.
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