As a former high school athlete, I am no stranger to bullying. I played football, but eventually quit because I had no interest in being around the types of guys who (mostly) played football. I wrestled for three years after leaving martial arts and boxing – but gym class was when I still had to face the jocks.
My car was vandalized, I was ganged up on, got into conflicts all the time, and I wasn’t the only one.
High school jocks have a sterling reputation for being relentless bullies, and getting away with it. Some of them never grow out of it – as evidenced by new information coming out of the Miami Dolphins locker room.
But, finally, there is due punishment.
Miami Dolphins starting left tackle Jonathan Martin left the team shortly before a game after deciding he had had enough. While the most recent issue was that the entire team got up and left the lunch table as soon as he sat down (sounds like high school, doesn’t it?), more details have been emerging.
Primarily, that the Dolphins’ (former?) Pro Bowl lineman Richie Incognito has been the main driving force behind the harassment.
More reports have come out revealing what it’s like to be a new member of the Dolphins. Rookies being forced to pay upwards of $30,000 for dinners, some even going broke, due to the constant nonsense they are put through from the veterans.
If the lives of professional NFL players can be tormented by bullies, it’s easy to imagine what small children with confidence issues go through when picked on. There is no reason, nor place, for any of this among any group of individuals of any age.
If we show no tolerance for these actions during childhood, it won’t be allowed to continue into adulthood. It’s easier said than done, and requires a consistent, worldwide movement to make a difference – but it can happen.
The Miami Dolphins have suspended Richie for his role in the bullying. I find this to be a great move by the team, as it serves as a message to all bullies of all ages:
We just won’t take it anymore.
Photo Source: ESPN.Go.com
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