Richie Incognito harassed, bullied and abused Jonathan Martin inside and outside the Miami Dolphins’ locker room. Incognito threatened to kill Martin’s mother and sister and even Martin himself. He repeatedly called and texted Martin terrible names and insults.
Why didn’t other players protect Martin? What’s the cure?
Why didn’t other people in the locker room stand up to a bully?
There are many excuses. Typically, people who “pile on” enjoy the power, want to be part of the pack or fear the bullies. In every company, family and school, there are people who are scary. Richie Incognito threatened Jonathan Martin’s mother and sister. He threatened Mr. Martin’s life. He can pretend he was kidding, but the threat is always there.
Some people looked the other way. They were content to be bystanders, spectators. They had no sense of outrage at what Incognito said or did. Incognito is scary and seemed to have power.
Character and courage are required to stand up to bullies. Dolphins’ coaches and management did nothing to stop Richie Incognito. They may even have encouraged him. Like a do-nothing principal faced with a student’s suicide, they now realize that by doing nothing to stop him, they gave Incognito power.
What’s the cure?
The league will investigate. Punishments will be handed down. The union will fight the severity of the punishments. New rules will be written into the collective bargaining agreement. Civil suits will be filed. Education will encourage witnesses to step up instead of choosing to become bystanders. Programs will be launched convert bullies into civilized humans.
In companies, families and schools, bullies use slightly different tactics to terrorize their targets, but the common patterns are clear.
Across the board, the treatment is the same as we would use to cure an infected splinter. You cut it open, expose the infection, clean out all the pieces of the splinter so it doesn’t fester again and you drain the pus. Only then can you heal the wound. It’s the same for a cancer.
Bullies have no place in NFL locker rooms, companies, families or schools. You stop the behavior as soon as it appears; even in the peewee leagues, even if that means you might lose more games. You don’t give your locker room leadership to predators.
The best way to stop bullying at work, in your family or at schools is to hire Dr. Ben for personalized coaching and consulting so you can:
- Develop the strength, courage, will and determination to be and to act your best resolutely, diligently and effectively.
- Develop a plan and master the skills necessary to create the bully-free life your spirit has always hungered for.
Since all tactics depend on the situation, call me at 1-877-8Bullies for expert coaching by phone or Skype.