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Why Is Jonathan Martin Being Criticized So Much For Not Fighting His Teammate Richie Incognito?

Submitted by on November 7, 2013 – 12:33 pmNo Comment

Early last week, Miami Dolphins player Jonathan Martin decided that he had had enough. After allegedly enduring a bunch of bullying from his teammate Richie Incognito—and having a prank pulled on him during a team lunch—Martin reportedly stormed out of the Dolphins’ facility and checked himself into a hospital after suffering an “emotional breakdown.” He also filed a formal complaint against Incognito for bullying him and took a leave of absence from the Dolphins in order to try and get his head right. As a result of all this, Incognito was suspended by the Dolphins and will not be permitted to play anytime in the foreseeable future and could be released by the Dolphins sooner than later.

A funny thing happened while all of this was taking place, though. Curiously, a lot of current and former players turned on Martin and revealed that they think he is to blame for the bullying that allegedly took place. Player after player came out and spoke about how they think Martin should have stood up to Incognito and got physical with him, if need be, to make the bullying stop. They also credited Incognito with trying to toughen Martin up and said that he would likely be welcomed back into the Dolphins locker room before Martin. It’s a strange set of circumstances to say the least.

But is that really how Martin should have approached this situation? Even though he’s a big, tough football player, should he have resorted to violence in order to settle the score with Incognito? We think that it’s completely unfair for anyone to say that that is how he should have conducted himself. All indications are that Martin is not the kind of person. And he’s not alone. There are millions of people in this world who would choose not to fight in order to stop bullying. There are also millions of people who would fight—or, at least, say they would fight—in order to shut a bully up. But Martin did what he thought was best in the situation in order to make a change. So why is he being criticized for that? If he doesn’t endorse using violence to work out problems, why should he suffer because of it?

We think that what he did was remarkably brave. And we think that Incognito and not Martin should be the one catching hell from former and current NFL players right now. Unfortunately, that’s not how things are working out. But we hope that, in time, the players who spoke out against Martin will reconsider their positions. Because Martin doesn’t deserve all the hate he’s catching right now for doing what he thought was best to stop a bully.

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