It seems like everybody in the NFL is being asked about the Miami Dolphins bullying scandal. While most are quick to defend either Richie Incognito or Jonathan Martin, Brandon Marshall may have given the most intelligent response yet by identifying the true problem.
Here is what Marhsall had to say about “the culture of the NFL”:
“A little boy falls down and the first thing we say as parents is ‘Get up. Shake it off. You will be OK. Don’t cry.’ When a little girl falls down, what do we say? ‘It’s going to be OK.’ We validate their feelings. So right there from that moment, we are teaching our men to mask their feelings, don’t show their emotions. It’s that times a hundred with football players. You can’t show that you’re hurt. You can’t show any pain. So, for a guy that comes into the locker room and he shows a little vulnerability, you know, that’s a problem. So that’s what I mean by ‘The Culture of the NFL,’ and that’s what we have to change.”
Marshall is absolutely right. Almost everybody who has defended Incognito or questioned the actions of Martin has used some variation of the phrase “man up.” The insinuation is that to stand up to a bully or fight back is to be a “man” and to walk away is something else.
In many ways this is a societal problem that extends well-beyond the football locker room. But in this country, football is the ultimate macho sport and there are certain ways football players are expected to act.
We still don’t know exactly what happened between Martin and Incognito. But how many people are responding to the incident shows that there is a bigger problem, especially in the NFL.
Here is video of Marshall talking about “the culture of the NFL”…
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