While Richie Incognito may never play another snap in the National Football League, Jonathan Martin may never play another enjoyable one, if any at all himself.
|Photo by: Allen Eyestone|
If nothing else, this ordeal has shown that Martin is neither mentally nor emotionally tough. Football is often compared to war; going to battle. Who wants to be in the trenches with an individual that can be easily broken down mentally or emotionally at any given moment?
To be a successful athlete at any level, you must have thick skin, and Martin clearly doesn't.
In sports, there are unwritten codes. One major one is what happens behind closed doors, stays behind closed doors. In house issues should be handled in house. If a player has a problem with another player, that needs to be addressed within a team only setting. This situation is so big because Martin violated the code. If he would have went to a position coach, a coordinator, or even the head coach, things could have been resolved in a less public manner.
Now, not only will he and Incognito suffer, so will the entire Dolphin organization. What free agents will want to walk into a locker room where this type of thing is going down? Miami has had a hard enough time in recent years convincing big name free agents to come to South Beach, so this will not make things any easier.
Lastly, this situation calls into question Martin's overall manhood. All the reports have circulated around what has happened to Martin. Nothing has been reported as far as him actually defending himself or his integrity.
Essentially, he has played the role of whipping boy.
If I'm in the NFL, I want no parts of a teammate who won't defend himself. If he can't take the heat in his own locker room, how can you have faith in him holding his own against men saying and doing everything they can get away with to try and break his will?
Granted, Incognito clearly crossed the line. However, Martin should have stood up for himself rather than just take his ball and go home. In fact, had he done so, he most likely would have earned the admiration of many of his teammates. Instead, major turmoil.
Bottom line, Jonathan Martin may have shot himself in the foot here. Instead of one career being over, don't be surprised if it's two.