First it was Michael Vick. Then along came Riley Cooper. Now we have Richie Incognito.
I know Roger Goodell has been labeled as a sheriff in the wild, wild west to some for his way of doling out punishments.
But apparently, he needs to go in a few notches on his law belt.
When the Michael Vick dog fighting case came about in 2007, it was arguably one of the most abhorrent things a player has ever done off the field. He served 21 months in jail for his role in a five-year dog fighting ring. Vick was able to get a starting job back but his public persona has been severly dented.
Then along came Riley Cooper. The loudmouth Eagles receiver who threw N-bombs at a Kenny Chesney concert was rightly vilified for putting the country back 50-60 years. Players from around the league, which is predominantly African American, still haven’t been able to forgive a guy that spouted off and despite apologizing until he was blue in the face, Cooper could potentially still harbor those feelings deep inside.
And now we’ve got Incognito. Labeling him as a bully is a disservice to bullies. He is a calculated emotional killer that preys on the weak. Judging from the texts and voicemails where he called Jonathan Martin racial epithets and even mentioned that he would kill him, Incognito is worse than the first two guys. I mean, Incognito forced Martin to chip in $15,000 to finance a trip to Las Vegas – a trip that Martin wasn’t even attending. So, in addition to making your fellow offensive lineman’s life a living hell thanks to a verbal assault, you’ve entered into the world of extortion.
The problem is, since the NFL is a macho sport based upon brute strength, most people just shrug their shoulders when they see this type of thing. Many Dolphins players really didn’t notice anything because the meat and potatoes of what was going on they didn’t see or hear. Incognito called out Martin in the locker room but it wasn’t anything that people wouldn’t consider out of the norm for locker room chatter.