Richie Incognito, an All-Pro guard for the Miami Dolphins, is newest poster boy for bullying. The 30-year-old, 319 pound football veteran was suspended by the National Football League (NFL) this past October. We’re not talking about the simple elementary school bullying, but serious threats, and some even of murder. It’s why Dolphins rookie tackle Jonathan Martin, a graduate from Stanford and the recipient of Incognito’s behavior, wants to leave the NFL. Bullying is a serious thing, and in this case makes people want to quit their job.
Bullying is a worldwide problem in both genders from all types of age groups. It has many forms. It can be verbal or physical harm. The actions can take place over the internet, cell phones, or any type of communication in today’s society.
In schools verbal harassment is the most common form of bullying, with reports claiming 77 percent of students are bullied verbally. The school bullying statistics report that 14 percent of those 77 percent have a serve or bad reaction to the bullying.
According to a recent i-SAFE survey, a leader in internet safety education, about 30 percent of students in the United States are involved in bullying regularly either as the bully, victim or both.
Bullying is everywhere and in everyday life. Some kids don’t do much about it which is why six out of 10 American teenagers witness bullying in school once a day, according to the National Education Association.
The kids aren’t the only ones not intervening with bullying. The school bullying statistics state that in about 85 percent of bullying cases, there lacks either teacher or administration intervention.
Bullying has the potential to make kids quit the sports they love. According to Dr. Patrick Cohn, a sports psychology expert, kids are quitting sports due to harassment and intimidation from bullies and coaches.
Lisa Cohn, co-author of “Coach’s Guide to Bullying in Sports,” says that athletes who are subjected to bullying will often lose focus, play or perform tentatively, feel anxious, drop out of tournaments or competitions, or quit sports altogether. The kids are hesitant to tell a parent or coach about being bullied because they are embarrassed.
A recent survey of 22,000 high school students across the United States found that 48 percent of students had been targets of hazing. Hazing, a form of bullying is when kids are humiliated in sports or forced to take part in dangerous events.
Dr. Cohn and Lisa Cohn also say that the coaches have to set rules and create an atmosphere of respect, support and team unity. They need to clearly state that bullying teammates and opponents is not acceptable.
Coaches who don’t establish this with their players risk serious bullying among the team. Also if coaches, players or even parents witness bullying within the team or to opposing teams they need to take action.
In reports from NY Daily News, Incognito says that his remarks towards Martin are just how the two communicated with each other, “What I was going for, I hadn’t seen my buddy. I wanted to shock him.” He added, “No matter how bad and vulgar it sounds, that’s how we communicate.”
Bullying is to be taken seriously, no matter the form or who it’s from. It can damage a person severely mentally and physically and can lead to death in some cases. Whether Incognito was serious or not he was bullying Martin and it played a part in his departure from the NFL.