Miami Dolphins Guard Richie Incognito issued a number of Tweets on Friday and implied that a report on his and other teammates’ alleged harassment of a Dolphins tackle Jonathan Martin is itself bullying.
Since November, 2013, Incognito has been in the spotlight for what Martin and many others termed racially based harassment via text messages, Twitter and telephone voice mails but what Incognito has brushed off as “toughening up” the second-year Martin.
The comments via the popular social medium called Twitter came in the wake of a 144-page report issued Friday by Ted Wells of Ted Wells of the law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP appeared to have prompted a number of Tweets the same day.
According to the detailed report, Martin and two others were heavily inundated with a plethora of offensive comments based in a racial basis.
Shortly after the report was released, Incognito was expressing his desire for people to please “Stop The Hate” and to “say no to bullying.”
The media backlash was quick.
Gregg Doyel, a national columnist for CBS Sports, poked fun at Incognito’s kvetching, observing that being a victim is no fun. Jimmy Traina of Fox Sports commented that Incognito is the kind of person who believes in the hypocrite’s credo of “Do as I say, not as I do.” And the highly popular celebrity Web site TMZ went right for the, ahem, jugular by announcing that the report revealed that the embattled NFL player posed for a photo showing him with his penis near the ear of a teammate who was apparently sleeping.
No matter what Incognito may say in his ever-embarrassing spurts and sophomoric sarcastic sputters on Twitter and perhaps elsewhere, the exposure is not good. Moreover, releasing Tweets that he is the one being bullied clearly shows he is unable to appreciate why he has the privilege of being the way he is and why black Americans do not appreciate the racial remarks.
Incognito’s lawyer, Mark Schamel, was quick to denounce the report by implying that Martin may have a drug problem or mental health issues, an accusation that may fall in line with the problem in Western society that was widely established with the “peculiar institution,” better known as chattel slavery.
Through the centuries, as chattel slavery was abolished and then replaced by what many believe are ever more sly forms of slavery such as Jim Crow laws, the prison system, the drug war, the war on poverty, red-lining and perhaps the most heinous one: lynching. According to the Web site Without Sanctuary, lynching was made popular by the U.S. Postal Service allowing postcards featuring pictures of black people lynched with mobs standing around the swinging body to be widely distributed in the early 20th century.
Nevertheless, one aspect of chattel slavery is said to have evolved: the “Mandingo.”
On the History Banter Web site, a Mandingo, according to the accepted definition of pre-Civil War South, was an African slave whose superior fighting talents, among other remarkable physical traits. Out of the tradition of Mandingo fights was said to be borne the preference for black Americans to be favored in sports.
The parallel of the American mindset that black men in America are predisposed to drugs and fighting—to which Incognito’s lawyer crisply alluded in his rebuttal to the NFL’s report—has been documented through movies such as the cult classic, Reefer Madness, and the 2013 version of D’Jango Unchained by Hollywood filmmaker Quentin Tarantino.
It may be with that continuing mindset that fans of Incognito, fueled by Schamel’s defense of his client, seem to think that Incognito is the victim even as Martin and the NFL report are over-reaching in their claims of racism.
As the fallout continues, however, Tweets from Incognito complaining that he is the one being bullied may not be forthcoming. According to all the reports, the last Tweet he released Friday night stated, “Goodbye Twitter…See you on the other side.”
By Randall Fleming
Follow Randall Fleming on Twitter: #BreweryObserver