The microscope on the Dolphins’ Bullygate saga — from the explosion of national, beyond-sports headlines in November to the details of last week’s 140-page NFL/Ted Wells report — has somehow seen one aspect of the bizarre tale go largely unexplored. Simply: How it could have been allowed to happen, and why here. The answer goes beyond the convenient extremes of one man (Richie Incognito) being notoriously experienced in boorish, Neanderthal behavior, and another (Jonathan Martin) whose emotional issues made him a ripe target. We first thought this was as uncomplicated as one bully and one victim. The Wells findings broadened the scope slightly to two teammates joining Incognito in the abuse and two victims of the harassment in addition to Martin. And still nobody is asking (let alone answering): How could it have been allowed to go on? There are some 75 people in an NFL locker room community every day, including players and the medical/training and equipment staffs. Where were all of these other eyes and ears who surely heard that bullying behavior was going on and more likely witnessed it? The answer is that sports’ “code of silence” kicked in. You don’t snitch. A football family keeps its secrets. That’s why, to this day, Dolphins players side with Incognito over Martin in all of this.
Bullygate reveals Miami Dolphins’ lack of leadership
Miami Herald | Feb 18