Here are three new stories to read if you're following what happened between Miami Dolphins linemen Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin — and the uproar because of allegations that Martin was bullied or that Incognito is being unfairly accused:
On Sports Illustrated's MMBQ, former Dolphins lineman Lydon Murtha (who says he considers both Incognito and Martin to be friends), writes that:
"Incognito was made a scapegoat for the hell coming down on the Dolphins organization, which in turn said it knew nothing about any so-called hazing. That's the most outlandish lie of this whole thing. The coaches know everything. The coaches know who's getting picked on and in many cases call for that player to be singled out. Any type of denial on that side is ridiculous. I have friends on more than a dozen teams, and it's the same everywhere. What people want to call bullying is something that is never going away from football. This is a game of high testosterone, with men hammering their bodies on a daily basis. You are taught to be an aggressive person, and you typically do not make it to the NFL if you are a passive person."
"The basic role that Jonathan Martin and Richie Incognito shared as offensive linemen for the Miami Dolphins was protecting quarterback Ryan Tannehill," The Associated Press writes. "The roles are now reversed. Tannehill is defending both Martin and Incognito, the central characters in a bullying saga that has taken both offensive linemen off the field and continued to evolve Wednesday when the NFL appointed a lawyer to investigate possible misconduct within the team workplace. ...
" 'If you had asked Jon Martin a week before who his best friend on the team was, he would have said Richie Incognito,' Tannehill said. ... 'The first guy to stand up for Jonathan when anything went down on the field, any kind of tussle, Richie was the first guy there. When they wanted to hang out outside of football, who was together? Richie and Jonathan. ...
" 'All I know about Richie is he's a great teammate to me. ... I saw him being a great teammate all the time. Does he like to give guys a hard time? Yes. Does he like to pester guys and have fun? Yes. But he brought a lot of laughter to this locker room, he brought a lot of cohesiveness to this locker room and he was the best teammate that I could ask for.' "
Gene Demby writes on Code Switch that "race, class resentment, 'culture of violence' — all of these things might explain the dynamics in the Dolphins' locker room. But they don't explain why so many players have taken to anonymously sniping at Martin in the press. All that owes to Martin's unusual decision to walk away. He wasn't merely exercising his own choice to leave, but indicting their choices to stay."