Shunned

AP English Letter to the Editor “Speak when you are angry- and you will make the best speech you’ll ever regret. “- Laurence J. Peter. Words are powerful tools that can build up, tear down, discourage, encourage, bring life, or bring death (Assonated). Words have always been impact, but in the last 30 years the way words can affect people have increased dramatically in scope. With the widespread use of cell phones and the advent of social media, words and ideas travel in the blink of an eye, regardless of the content.

Sadly, many people find themselves regretting the words that were spoken over the web, over the phone or in open air; such is the case of Archie Incognito. Incognito is an offensive lineman on the Miami Dolphins who is praised by many as extremely talented. Although his athletic talent is impressive, it does not overshadow his anger issues. Throughout his career as a football player, the inability to control emotions has been his downfall, which has contributed to one of the biggest scandals in National Football League history.

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The organization that has defined American sports, that attracts millions of viewers from all walks of life and provides common ground for all people, is experiencing a dishonor that brings into question everything the NFG stands for. (Periodic Sentence) As previously stated, Incognito has long had issues handling anger on and off the field, but in a recent turn of events his private issues have spilled into the public eye (Antithesis).

Allegedly, Incognito caused Jonathan Martin, a teammate and fellow offensive lineman, to quit playing football because of Incognitos incessant bullying and disturbing behavior. The harassment involved sending threatening and racially charged messages, making threats against Martin’s family and even Martin himself. Jason La Conform of CBS Sports reported that Incognitos intense harassment caused Martin to come to the point of fearing for his safety, and that leaving the team was his only option.

At this time Incognito is suspended from play indefinitely and his fate with the Miami Dolphins remains to be seen. Incognitos behavior is obviously insensitive, selfish, and extremely offensive, but does it warrant rejection and scrutiny that Archie Incognito is now receiving? Absolutely. The language that Incognito used goes above and beyond the tolerance level for the vast majority of individuals. Not only did he threaten Martin, but also his family, which reaches a different level of offense.

When bullying forces a grown man to leave his Job as a professional football player, something must be done. On top of the series of events involving Martin, there is evidence that this type of behavior is not new to Incognito. His previous transgressions include a sexual harassment charge, three counts of assault, multiple cases of serious violations of team rules room high school to college to pro football, and to top if off was voted the Dirtiest Player in the NFG in 2009. Clearly, it was only a matter of time before something as shocking as this most recent event came bubbling to the surface.

This type of behavior should not be acceptable in any way, shape, fashion or form, and should be punished. By “shunning” Incognito, he may learn to control his words and actions more carefully and therefore may save more people from his scathing tongue and callous behavior. But couldn’t this Just be a case of overreaction, Just some crude locker room talk hat found it’s way out into the open? Incognitos defense of himself was that that was just how the two men talked. While crude and offensive to a 3rd party observer, could it have Just been normalcy for the two men?

While this argument has some merit it is invalid on several points. Firstly, Jonathan Martin DID leave the team, naming the reason for his departure as the intense invective leveled against him. It is hard to believe that he did not show any signs of sadness or speak up for himself before leaving. Would that have stopped Incognito? Given his previous record, most likely to. Secondly, death threats go beyond friendly razzing but step into the realm of seriousness, especially when family members are threatened.

Lastly, Incognito knew that Martin had thinner skin than the guys he was used to dealing with. According to Fort Lauderdale newspaper the Sun-sentinel, the Dolphins coach had commissioned Incognito to toughen Martin up; Incognito apparently attempted this by using tirades of abusive speech. Martin needed a brother, he needed support, he needed genuine motivation. (Anaphora) But what he received only pushed him further to the brink of oppression, paralyzing fear and self-pity.

In this case the ends did not Justify the means; the wrong action was taken and should be dealt with in the public eye. In the end, it is obvious that Incognito was in the wrong and should be dealt with according to the degree of his offense. We should not allow him to call darkness light, and light darkness, or to call evil good and good evil (Intolerable) but hold him accountable for the malicious actions he took towards an undeserving human being. But the want of Justice should not prevent Incognito from sincerely apologizing and running from his old ways of malice and damaging words.

Everybody has things that are regrettable in their past and would not wish to be denied forgiveness if it was brought to the public eye. So although Incognito demonstrated unacceptable behavior, he should always be allowed the opportunity to ask for forgiveness; forgiveness for things said, forgiveness for things done and forgiveness for such blatant insensitivity (Indianapolis). Hopefully this type of punishment will ward off any future disturbing cases of harassment and make people think twice about inflicting extreme emotional damage on people.

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