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When we think of bullies we usually think of kids, mostly teenagers.

But, adult bullying is real and was made plain this week with the story of Miami dolphins teammates Incognito and Martin; one accusing the other of bullying him to the point where he felt compelled to leave the team and seek therapy.

The Miami Sentinel is reporting multiple sources as saying that some of the team coaches not only condoned the activity but asked Richie Incognito to toughen up Jonathan Martin.

The league is now hiring a special counsel to investigate the Miami Dolphins.

That is good.

The initial response from many was that Martin is a big boy in a rough and tumble business where men are expected to act like men, not boys, and defend themselves.

But, bullies can come in all shapes and sizes, including a 6-foot-3, 320-pound professional football guard named Richie Incognito.

Victims of bullies can come in all shapes in sizes, including a 6-foot-5, 315-pound professional football guard named Jonathan Martin.

And if the accusations are indeed true, if they are true because this is just the initial part of the investigation; we have to let the story play out. If it’s true for Incognito and for the team, then there was a conspiracy that went far beyond bullying into harassment.

Psychologist Dr. Wendy Walsh says its emotional abuse and we do it all the time in our most intimate relationships.

Dr. Walsh says we save the most sadistic parts of our personalities for those we are closest too; even a teammate.

And, she says, one of the ways that men socially organize themselves is by hierarchy.

Every man knows who the alpha male is in the group, who the wing man is etcetera, and that is never broken.

The little digs and quips at each other are seen as affection, but are actually a way to continue the pecking order.

However, some men are more sensitive to the insults and can internalize it as a result.

So, telling someone like Jonathan Martin to “man up” could be the worst thing to say in his or her similar situation.

The doctor says what that means is that if you’re defining manhood that way, you’re defining it wrong. You’re defining manhood as someone who has no feelings and men clearly have feelings.

So let’s look at it like this, what we must remember is that the NFL, the football field, the locker room, the basketball court, the baseball diamond are all workplaces.

Workplace harassment is unacceptable.

You cannot bully nor harass a colleague.

When I asked the doctor why Martin wouldn’t take care of the problem himself, her answer was profound. She says he was taking care of the problem by not trading one kind abuse for another kind of physical violence.

In other words he wasn’t taking care of the problem by becoming another bully. He’s not continuing the cycle.

It’s a tough lesson for many of us, including me, with an old school approach to manhood.

4 thoughts on “Too Big To Be Bullied?

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  2. I said it. on said:

    Don says he is an old school man… really? Confusion is indeed the name of the game.
    Also, mental health worker, or not, a woman cannot teach a man how to be a man and do what men do. He should have, at three least git a male to interview for this article.
    He’s a man’s man. He knows that.

  3. Adult bulling is more dangerous, they have more resources. I have been bullied/harassed in palm desert chamber ( by palm desert ladies who were part of chamber board of directors. Also discriminated by chamber staff because some ladies/board member jealous from me and they are closed friend with chamber CEO and Vice President.
    I contacted chamber CEO and it does not help. They still often removing my name from hot sheet. Before some of ladies directors used to harass me, now they stop temporarily bulling, but entire executive committee create isolation attitude towards me after complain, they are very rude. Interestingly, they have an attorney in board and know all legality, but they don’t care for laws because politics is dirty in palm desert, and they have full resources.
    It’s long story what I have been through, but this torture made me stronger.
    I try my best to limit my contact with them and stay away from them when I go to chamber.
    I am in worst situation because these ladies have more resources, but I survived. I only have one advice to bully victim-be strong, don’t give up, don’t take stress, do workout, yoga, prayers. Always stand on your ground. This is your life, don’t let others to ruin this. Good luck.

  4. I have been bullied/harassed/discriminate in palm desert chamber by ladies director. Adult bully is more dangerous because they have more resources.
    I received death threat (They don’t reveled their identity, but I don’t have enemies except people on chamber, I have very simple life, I am very humble and known to be a sweat person). I was unable to rent office space in palm desert. I shared my office with some one, this group does not make easier over there either. My cell phone bugged. Police was not good help either because lack of proof.
    It’s long list what happened to me. It was emotional and financial trauma.
    Finally I done getting scared and stand up which does not help my surroundings, but it does help me mentally.
    Chamber staff removed my business name from chamber directories. Finally, I contacted chamber CEO and tells her about harassment/bully by directors and question her removal of my business name. Well it does not help either, and they remove my chamber membership. Then I hire attorney, so they put my name back. I don’t have money to bring law suit against them (they are aware of this, so continued discrimination).
    After my complain, The board director lady who harassed me more, they make ambassador to another person from her company. Now we have two from same company, one in board and other is ambassador. Chamber is Promoting her business more now, every publication-they highlight her business. The other board lady who bullied, they make her elected chairman. Our chamber Vice President is close friend to them.
    I also met city manager, nothing change. Then I send entire situation to palm desert city mayor (I have seen her with this group, I thing they are friends). She does not bother to contact me. Her contacts are more important than my life.
    Then I contacted our senator and congressman. They don’t bother to meet me. But at least after that death threat stops.
    Well now how I am dealing with this. It’s long story, it took long time to recover. Prayers and workout. One thing they done good, I become fearless, I don’t care anymore. I have new office which I am sharing with some one. I know, they not going to leave me alone here either. They have resources to offer people around me to messed up my life. But now, I will not give up and deal with them. I am more stronger than ever.
    I heard politic is dirty, but in palm desert, it is nasty. Where chamber staff especially CEO and Vice President fully support who done wrong, of course city mayor is their side too. They sell my living and life for their contacts/financial gain.
    My looks and ambitions are my enemies.

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