Life Lessons to Learn from the Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin Situation


Sep 22, 2013; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins tackle

Jonathan Martin

(71), guard

Richie Incognito

(68), and center

Mike Pouncey

(51) prepare to block for quarterback

Ryan Tannehill

(17) as Atlanta Falcons defensive tackle

Jonathan Babineaux

(95) looks on in the second half at Sun Life Stadium. Miami won 27-23. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

Let’s talk about this situation for just a few minutes, to put it into perspective before we put it to bed.

Everyone knows the players by now, Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin, linemen for the Miami Dolphins. Martin left the team during the 2013 season after making claims of harassment by Incognito. Since then, there has been an independent investigation by Ted Wells.

Well, his report was released yesterday, and it was not favorable to Incognito, despite his claims that the truth would “bury” Johnathan Martin. The conclusions included the fact that Martin WAS subjected to harassment, by not only Incognito but other players as well. The behavior was persistent, although not intended to force Martin off the team, that is what it did. He even considered suicide last year.

Without going into the specifics any further, there is a lot that we can learn from the situation, as people.

First of all, you can never know someone else’s story. Case and point right here. You might think a big, tough football player is immune to getting upset. WRONG! The point is, you think you know someone, but you really don’t. We never know what type of baggage that a person brings with them from their past. So, you never know how someone is going to react, no matter what your intent is.

Which leads right into the second point. If you are considering making fun of someone, don’t. It’s not worth it. You might think it’s funny, the person might act as if they think it’s funny. You don’t know what they are really thinking about. You don’t know the damage you might unwittingly be causing. Whether it’s a kid in your class, or a co-worker, just don’t do it.

Finally, if you see someone engaging in this type of behavior, say something. Whether you are a younger reader that sees it in school, or older that sees it in the workplace. It doesn’t matter. If you see something, say something. Don’t be afraid to say “Hey! Knock it off!”. Tell a teacher. It’s OK to be a snitch. You might just save someone’s life.

Have a great night, and thanks for reading.