Eagles Players Weigh In On Hazing

kendricks_940_100113The topic of hazing in the NFL has taken center stage following the recent reports out of Miami. Veteran guard Richie Incognito is being accused of bullying fellow lineman Jonathan Martin and sending him harassing messages containing racial slurs.

Incognito was suspended indefinitely by the Dolphins on Sunday night for conduct detrimental to the team. Martin is on a leave of absence.

Some Eagles players weighed in on the situation Tuesday while offering some insight into what it’s like being a neophyte in the NFL.


"I think two guys are at fault to me," said Cary Williams. "Obviously Incognito had some racial slurs and all this other stuff that was going on that I'm not too enthusiastic about myself. I think Martin definitely could have handled the situation better. You have a player development director there that is in place that is supposed to make you feel at home, make you feel like you can talk to him in confidentiality. There are so many outlets for a player to go and talk. I'm not in his shoes, I wasn't there so it's hard for me to determine whether he used the right techniques or the right approach in dealing with the situation, I just know  that hazing is a part of the game and you have to have veteran leadership in there to make sure guys aren't going too far.

"I think the situation got out of hand, and I still feel like Martin, if all else fails, put up your dukes, man. I'm a 300-pound guy, he's a 300-pound guy, you're grown men, you know what I mean? If you feel like a guy is doing you like that -- I don't think any player in the NFL, any player in this locker room would disagree with having a little scrum if it got to that point."

Williams said that he was hazed while starting out in Tennessee but holds no animosity towards the players responsible for it. He liked it, even. But what he went through was a world apart from the alleged happenings in Miami. Maybe he would have to spend some time in a cold tub or might find Icy Hot in his helmet.

"It made it a little more exciting. Anticipating maybe some gel in your shoe or something like that. It was all in fun, that's really all it was.  Nothing too over the top," he said. "I remember vividly I had my Jordans thrown in the cold tub. I found one of those shoes. I'm still looking for [the other]."

Williams says there was no hazing in Baltimore and there is none here in Philadelphia. The veteran defensive backs have Earl Wolff buy snacks for the meeting room, he said, but there's not much more to it.

Mychal Kendricks wishes all he had to buy was snacks when he was a rook. The linebacker told us Tuesday that he had to take the linebackers out to Del Frisco's one night and ended up spending "about half of what was being asked from Martin." One report says that Incognito had Martin pay $15,000 for a team vacation to Las Vegas. If that's what Kendricks is referencing, he spent about $7,500 that night.

"I ended up buying the wives some food even though they stayed home. I ended up buying dogs food," said Kendricks. "Fifty-dollar steaks for some animals. They ate good that night."
Kendricks knows Incognito a little bit, as the two have worked out at the same facility during the offseason for the past couple years.

"I had to talk to him and he was pretty cool. I never had any problem with him," he said. "We chalked it up and had a couple good conversations just about random subjects."

He knows Martin as well. They were both second-round picks last season and Martin went to Stanford, so of course Kendricks -- a Cal grad -- was familiar with the tackle. "He's real cool, real soft-spoken kind of guy. Never caused any problems. Just does his job," he said.

According to multiple Eagles players, Chip Kelly has never really addressed the issue of hazing with his team, but there is an understanding that it's just not something this organization does (outside of having the rookies pay for food, at least). Kendricks referenced the Riley Cooper incident as all the more reason why the locker room would avoid anything that crossed the line.

"The situation we had here already -- in that situation we came together as a team. We're stronger as a team," said Kendricks. "It really shows our character as men to step up and have a higher conscience to be able to think outside the box and say 'Man, look, we have this situation here, we can go this way or we can go that way.' And we chose the best way to go about it, and that just shows our character.

"That's one thing that you think about coming in as a rookie -- the rookie initiation process. And that's what it truly is and what it truly should be is an initiation process, not what you guys are hearing now which is more of a hazing, bullying type of thing. Every team has a different process, every team is a different group of guys, and it's all about the manner in which they go about the initiation because there is a fine line between initiation and hazing and bullying."

 

  • melodically

    So, Martin gets bullied and harassed repeatedly by a co-worker over a period of 12+ months, including at least one absolutely vile and racist voicemail, and Cary Williams’ solution is to have a little scrum after practice and let bygones be bygones? What is this, the Burr-Hamilton model of dispute resolution? This is one of the stupidest things I’ve ever heard. Incognito’s behavior is totally unacceptable, and the only person who needs to explain himself in this situation is Incognito, not Martin.

    • KimbaFuzz

      Well, said. This blame the victim bs is just that… bs.

      • GEAGLE

        Stop it..no one is blaming the Victim….certain people just can’t fathom allowing it ever to get that far, and mention things Martin could have done to nip it in the butt at the beginning before it spiraled to this. No one has said Martin was wrong, but people think he should have exhausted other avenues before getting to this point…who knows, maybe we find out that he did make the coaches aware of it and it still continued..then, you probably won’t be hearing players say what Cary said..

        • melodically

          People are independently responsible for their own actions. If I harass my co-worker, it is not incumbent upon them to do something about it to make me stop. I have already committed the moral transgression by harassing them in the first place.

          Pondering how Martin could have prevented Incognito’s bullying is the essence of victim-blaming. It aims to shift the moral responsibility away from the transgressor and onto the victim when the culpability rests squarely on the shoulders of the individual independently responsible for the behavior.

          • cliff henny

            also, incognito isnt a sane man. do a quick google search, he is unhinged. wasnt just work place and against martin, it was shifted to after hours stalking and threatening family members.

          • FLclyde

            A real life, unfunny version of Kenny Powers.

          • EaglePete

            love me some Kenny Powers, that show just gets better and better. Sports Sesh, I mean really, hilarious.

          • Andy124

            I disagree.

            Acknowledging Incognito’s full culpability is in no way mutualy exclusive with discussing if Martin could have done anything differently to better his situation.

            I don’t agree with the punch him in the face theory, but notifying those who need to know would probably have been a wise course of action, assuming he didn’t already.

          • anon

            Please. If i come and rob your house every day what are you going to do, move; or hope i stop b/c i feel bad? You’re either going to call the cops or get a weapon and defend your house. That’s all Cary is saying.

          • melodically

            I hear you, but to take your analogy a step further — where do you think people should direct their moral judgment in that situation? Should my neighbors ponder to the local media how it’s such a shame that I didn’t secure my house a little better? Or should they focus on condemning the criminal who robbed me in the first place?

          • anon

            If you call the cops who goes to jail? I see what you’re saying but i don’t think you should construe sconces comments as saying Martin did something wrong or that he should be blamed for the teasing. He’s just saying there’s no reason to let it get that far. If there’s something about your life you don’t like you gotta make a move to fix it. I can see how a guy like Incognito would pick on a mixed Ivy kid, he might have been a little soft.

      • anon4284

        the way I see it is that they aren’t blaming the victim(Martin) for being targeted but not speaking up sooner. yes its wrong that it happened but it could have been solved if he’d have spoken up sooner. just my two cents.

    • Bob A

      All Cary is saying that it is unfair to the Dolphins organization and those who weren’t harassing him for Martin to just walk out on the team without notifying the player development guy , for instance with the Eagles, Harold Carmichael is meant to handle things like that. Danny Watkins went to the guy’s home and asked him why he left the team. From what I saw the last few years, I doubt Watkins was abusing the guy. Remember, the Dolphins spent money scouting, signing and training Martin, he owes them more than just leaving. So while Incognito is 100% wrong, Martin has some blame in this as well.

      • BlindChow

        For all we know, Martin did go to the player development guy.

    • Richard Colton

      upvote for point, and for Burr-Hamilton reference

    • Adam

      At some point he needs to man up and stand up for himself. This isn’t a regular office dynamic where you go to HR and sit down and hug it out. If you’re a teammate of Martin’s and see him repeatedly take this abuse and not stand up for yourself how are you supposed to go to war with a guy that just takes that kinda stuff? The football locker room is a different world entirely, and if you don’t have the respect of the guys around you then you’ve got nothing.

      And this isn’t saying Incognito deserves any less of the blame, I’m just saying that Williams isn’t completely wrong here.

  • DirtyWaters

    Cary Williams is a walking sound bite. I’ve wanted really badly to disagree with this guy from day one, but I don’t think it has happened. I wanted to get mad for missing “voluntary” camps, but he had a point. He just keeps spewing unpopular truths.

    • GEAGLE

      My favorite Eagle…my Gameday jersey!!!

      • anon

        Yeah i was wondering whose i should grab. Meco? Cox? Sonces might be my favorite. Maybe i’ll make my own w/ Sconces on the back.

        • DirtyWaters

          Hurry, before the No Fun League bans it like the Ron Mexico jersey.

    • #7

      Sconces backs up his talk

      • DirtyWaters

        He had me at that diving interception in the Week 1 Washington game. Hadn’t seen hustle like that out of the secondary in a couple years.

        • cliff henny

          he had me at sconces…you know he came prepared with that.

  • cliff henny

    leave hazing to the professionals…drunk 18-22 college fraternity guys

  • Joe from Easton

    You shouldn’t have to punch your co-worker in the mouth to protect yourself from harassment. With that said, some people handle things differently. I personally never got hazed in my football locker room because I wasn’t afraid to punch someone in the mouth. Doesn’t make me right or wrong and I damn sure wasn’t a professional with a degree from Stanford.

    • hacker13

      You are right, you shouldn’t have to punch somebody at work. But these guys aren’t working in an office wearing a suit and tie, they are playing a highly competitive game that is played with a lot of emotion. Some of these guys are immature jerks. So sometimes when push comes to shove, you need to stick up for yourself and throw down. Hell, even Wayne Gretzky got into a few fights in his career in the NHL.

      • Joe from Easton

        I understand what you’re saying. I played football for the first 13 years of my memorable life. With that said; some players (people) aren’t wired that way. I don’t think that’s the case anyway though. Martin obviously has the tenacity to kick the ass of the guy in front of him or he wouldn’t be in the NFL. This is a case of someone who’s educated and understand human nature. Last time I punched a bully in the face he just came back the next day with a friend. Get what I’m saying? Incognito wouldn’t have stopped because of a punch in the face and Martin knew he didn’t have the support of other players or coaches so he blew the whistle and left.

  • #7

    Martin should have punched Incognito in the mouth over a year ago.

    • cliff henny

      one thing if he left it in the locker room. incognito was chasing him down at night, stalking him, threatening family. also, read up on that guy, even if he got an ass-whooping, which we all believe he needed, i doubt he’s the type to leave it there.

      • #7

        I hear you on that but there’s only so much to put up with. They’re both 300 lbs like Sconces said. You have to stand up to bullies as you well know

        • cliff henny

          you are thinking incognito is a sane man. please, do a quick search, he isnt right. yeah, you or i step over, i’ve been hit, knew i was wrong and acted correctly…incognito is type you hit, he shows up with gun.

          • #7

            I know about his history man. ESPN had a big write up on him a few months ago. Still though man, Martin has to have something at his home to protect his family, right?

          • cliff henny

            escalating violence with incognito is a losing battle. this was stalking harrassment, threats against family, not hazing. people spend time in the county jail for acting like this.

          • #7

            I can’t disagree with you, but damn. Would you take being harassed for a a year and not do anything?

          • Andy124

            Didn’t you say you’ve been getting harrassed here since the site went up? :)

          • #7

            Yep and I stepped up every single time lol

          • Andy124

            And do you feel like that’s changed anything?

          • #7

            Sometimes. This is a blog. No one is harassing my family. You guys can think I’m wrong, but Icognito would have gotten hit with a weight or something. I bet the majority of NFL players would bust him in his mouth.

            Incognito is the definition of a bully. He found someone apparently soft that he could prey on and he did. He probably thought it was funny as hell too. His type needs their asses kicked. I hate bullies because at their core they are some low self-esteem punks that try to make themselves feel better..about themselves

            I had a guy try to bully me coming up and I fought his ass and won. Does wonders for your confidence and he never messed with me again.

          • Richard Colton

            antiquated. maybe for 8 year olds on the playground, but in the modern workplace? in a 100 billion dollar industry? just weak.

          • #7

            It’s different in an NFL locker room. And what does it matter how old you are? You can get bullied at any age, as you can see we’re talking about it.

            Of course, I can’t do it in my suit and tie. Whether you like it or not, it’s different in sports

          • Richard Colton

            that’s just the point. By the time you’ve finished high school, and certainly a grown man with a college degree, has learned to develop coping mechanisms
            to deal with uncomfortable situations in his workplace OTHER than a fistfight. Nothing more pathetic than adults in a screaming match or a fistfight.

          • #7

            Sure, the coping part is easier, but I’m not going to take too much. I don’t think you would walk away so easily if someone harassed you for a year

          • Richard Colton

            Yeah. this is important. the only options are A) fight the guy or B) walk out on his team? How did it get to a year? Terrible. From an Eagles perspective, yes we could use a Guard and a Tackle, but I wouldn’t want to touch either of these guys.

            Very telling that the teamates are sticking up for Incognito and not for Martin. There’s another shoe that’s going to drop here very soon.

          • EaglePete

            Martin prob wants a trade to get away from that team. If hes any good, why not.

          • SvelteGodzilla

            If the Dolphins games I’ve seen are any indication, he’s not- Tannehill isn’t far off pace for most times sacked in a season

          • #7

            Dude was probably soft. Whether it’s admitted or notthat is not tolerated in the locker room

          • Andy124

            There’d be a joke in there about something smelling fishy and this being the Dolphins, except that Dolphins are mammals damnit.

          • Andy124

            The mascot isn’t the only thing smelling fishy down in Miami.

          • Richard Colton

            stepped up from behind your anonymous internet
            profile. Maybe you should offer Martin advice, since you were so brave. Come on #7!!!

          • #7

            I would tell Martin to fight his ass win or lose. That’s my advice. The last thing I want is violence. i haven’t been in a fight for 10 years, but I don’t mind getting down if I have to

          • #7

            And that harassment came from you Dick. We still have to meet up in Philly remember?

            You still down? Just joking man. Would’t want to lay you out like that. You’re a good guy…a little bit

          • Richard Colton

            you know it! i’ll be looking for the ashy Mike Vick. Remember you promised to wear your Jim Jeffcoat jersey.

          • #7

            Going to have to lay you out now

          • Richard Colton

            Alvin Harper?

          • #7

            I’m going to wear a Dick Colton jersey

          • Richard Colton

            Just like Superman and Batman do

          • gweeg

            The irony of this comment is suffocating.

          • Richard Colton

            it took you 20 hours to come up with that? it’s my real name btw – my old profile pic was me too. I had to change it because the ladies wouldn’t leave me alone. But you know that because you’ve been on 24/7 so long. Disappear Vickboy

          • cliff henny

            no, but i’m also not forced to deal with people i have no choice not too.

          • #7

            What would you do henny?

          • cliff henny

            not sure…the threatening of family would have sent me over edge. martin did correct thing, not sure i would have been as mature and responsible.

          • #7

            Me neither. He would have been handled

          • Richard Colton

            now I can’t get Joe Pesci from Casino out of my head. Wouldn’t want either of these guys on my team, and I liked Martin coming out of college.

      • #7

        Another thing, Martin comes from a good background. Both of his parents are Harvard educated. Maybe he just didn’t have it in him to fight for himself

        • theycallmerob

          one does one thing in that statement have to do with another? Ivy school children can’t fight?

          • #7

            Not saying that. If you never had to fight growing up, then how do you learn to fight?

            Two parents Harvard educated. I can’t imagine that they tolerated him fighting and it just might not be in him. Look at the situation now.

            Compare Sconces’ background to Martin. Sconces would have socked Icognito on sight.

          • theycallmerob

            …and then what? If we’re going to play the assumption game, I’d bet Incognito comes back and blows Sconces head off.
            Who wins?

          • anon

            I doubt it’s like that, but look at the alternative.

          • #7

            Your throwing out assumptions yourself right now

          • theycallmerob

            I’m glad something finally hit home. So, again, why assume punching a known nutjob in the face would solve anything? or that harvard-educated folk don’t fight?

          • #7

            Would you let it go on for a year?

  • Richard Colton

    “Honestly I don’t know anything about the situation so I don’t have an opinion” – said Cary Williams never

    • Jernst

      hahahahaha

  • FLclyde

    Cary is patently incorrect about slugging it out as a means to settle a workplace dispute. The idea that the locker room is a different animal with a different set of rules is an antiquated fallacy that needs to die.

    • anon

      He said take it to the proper channels first. But in real life if you don’t have any other choice best way to deal with a bully is to deal with a bully. Win or lose you gotta stand up for yourself.

      • FLclyde

        But you always have another choice is the thing, which is why Cary’s comments are clear victim blaming.

      • #7

        You gotta understand…nevermind

    • #7

      This is the NFL not corporate america. There’s been plenty of fights in locker rooms that we don’t know about. People don’t like to hear this, but the NFL is different. It just is

      • FLclyde

        Likely outcome to fighting Incognito: Richie comes back into the locker room the next day with a gun, knife, or worse. Proceeds to hurt his family. And while I didn’t play sports at the highest level, I played at a high enough level to understand what can be policed in-house vs. what cannot. Martin did absolutely nothing wrong in this scenario.

      • FLclyde

        Hugh Douglas vs. TO circa 2005? Sorted out in locker room. Crazy, racist white man who is mentally unhinged? Not close to the same thing.

  • theycallmerob

    big, loud, insane, racist, unhinged….anyone else wonder if Incognito has been posting on 24/7 as Dutch this whole time?

    • cliff henny

      tough week for dutch. havent seen his take on nick 7tds foles…my guess, blind squirrell

      • Andy124

        Unicorn stole Foles’ jersey and did it.

        • BlindChow

          The “Football Gods” handing out gift touchdowns like candy on Halloween. Why, even Matt Flynn could have done it!

    • Richard Colton

      makes up words…delusions of grandeur…was too big to play football with the other kids. Rob, I think you cracked the code

      • nicksaenz1

        Don’t forget he’s often yeasting people.

    • #7

      Dutch is a legend on here. Bow down

      :)

    • nicksaenz1

      Posted on another article earlier today that I wondered if Dutch and Token were the same person, just one who suffered from multiple personalities disorder. Could Incognito suffer from this?

  • Kev_H

    I don’t think anyone should throw stones at Martin. He’d be a fool as a pro athlete and employee to risk his health and fitness “putting up his dukes.” Note that champions and championship teams typically don’t take part in hazing nonsense. It’s just a bunch of insecure guys worried about their jobs and status. As a coach, everyone is a team member and what happened in the past means nothing this season. You have to prove it every practice, every game, every week…. You shouldn’t have special status based on arriving on the scene a few years earlier.

  • Andy124

    Anyway, glad to hear the Eagles aren’t doing anything stupid with their hazing. Although making Kendriks spend that much was probably overboard… but with the money these guys make, I don’t know if that was pocket change or what.

    • nicksaenz1

      He made 800k last year. One or two of these trips ain’t killin’ him.

      • Andy124

        I wouldn’t want to pay .75% of my gross annual income on one night of feeding other people.

  • RightsTough

    Jonathan Martin went to Stanford where people are liberal and actually have a social conscious. Incognito went to schools where the libraries are as empty as his head! That being said, Football is an Alpha Dog sport and Martin is obviously NOT an Alpha Dog. Goddell has to ride out this storm and people will forget this ever happened. The NFL is a prison league now and the faint of heart should sit on their couches with their lawyers and pontificate how they can help the Haitian people by building houses for them. Martin is very likely gay — not that there’s anything wrong with that!

  • mtn_green

    Curious: who made Kendricks pay their bar tab? Meco? Chaney? Matthews?
    Meco just came to Philly the rest of the LB are barely on roster or special teamers