NEWS, NOTES & QUOTES FROM CBS SPORTS’ “THE NFL TODAY” WITH JAMES BROWN, DAN MARINO, SHANNON SHARPE,
BILL COWHER AND BOOMER ESIASON
“THAT OTHER PREGAME SHOW” WITH ADAM SCHEIN, AMY TRASK, BART SCOTT AND BRANDON TIERNEY FOR WEEK 10 ON NOVEMBER 10
► QUICK HITS
(On Miami’s Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin situation)
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SHANNON SHARPE: People will tell you what you want to hear. People will tell you what they think you’ll believe and then they’ll tell you the truth. From what I’m hearing from the Dolphins from what I’ve read in the paper, I don’t believe they’re telling the truth. Ted Wells will get to the bottom of the truth. But I want to talk about a culture that was fostered in that locker room and was allowed to flourish. The Miami Dolphins locker room probably consists of 75% to 80% blacks. If you allow Richie Incognito to walk around in an open locker room and to use a racial epithet that most black Americans, all black Americans, know the stigmatism and the hate and the vitriol that comes with that word. If you allow him to do that, you are encouraging him to do that. It has to go in check. I read, and I don’t know, this is alleged, that some black players said Richie Incognito was an honorary black. There is no such thing. This tells me everything I need to know about the Miami Dolphins locker room. How we got here and why we got here. Because so many people – if you don’t understand it –
because I’m 45. I grew up in rural south Georgia, maybe I’m a disconnect with me, JB. Maybe it’s me. Just ask your parents. Ask your grandparents. The mountain that they climbed so a black person in America could have respect, could have dignity, and you allow this in an open locker room to take place is unacceptable. I place this – I’m so disappointed. I just hope that someone was misquoted. I hope I’m wrong and they didn’t allow Richie Incognito to say this racially-charged word in an open locker room and go unchecked. That’s unacceptable. I’m embarrassed for – because if he said that to Jonathan Martin, he didn’t only say it to him. He would be talking to you too. Because if you’re black, you know what that word means.
BILL COWHER: I think the thing that happens as a coach is you are a father. You’re a mentor. You have brought together a bunch of people from different places, different races, different values, and what you have to explain to people is I can’t change you, but I have to respect you. And Incognito can’t. If he wants to make Jonathan Martin tougher, let the coaches do that. We have to have people inside there. Let the players play. You can’t change people. You can only try to influence them. I spent my first two or three years with the Pittsburgh Steelers trying to create trust, accountability, commitment. And in doing that I had to make sure those players knew I cared about them. And, because they won’t care until they know you care. So I spent time. I wanted to know how they were doing with their families. How they were doing personally, because if they’re not doing well at home, they’re not going to do well on the field. When we came in, we were a family. Sometimes you have little squabbles. You have to intervene, take control of the situation. Pull them aside, and you know what, I said that, if that bothers you, I don’t think it’s right. I’m sorry. Because if it offended you, I’m wrong.
SHARPE: Any workplace environment, be it locker room or at CBS, the first thing you have in any code, any ethos is respect. Because if you don’t have that, you’re going to have problems later. And this is what it’s gotten to.
COWHER: If anything comes out of this, we’ve gone to a third party on the sidelines with concussions. Because in this social media world we’re in, in the transparent world we’re in, maybe it’s time we bring a third party into every building, an HR (Human Resources) department where any player or coach can go to if they feel like the situation is one that they cannot work in. So I think unfortunately, we’ve come to this world – you have to be proactive. Let’s not wait until another situation comes. You have to be forward thinking. You have to be proactive. I know the Commissioner will do something like this. We’ve done this with concussions. We’ve done this with everything else. And again, what happened in this case to me, the cover-up was worse than the crime itself…
JAMES BROWN: Let me close with this. Boomer’s point is well taken. Before we can pass ultimate judgment we need to wait until all the facts come out. But there are things that said thus far that are absolutely intolerable. I couldn’t agree with Shannon more. And for folks to try to say because of a
number of black ballplayers quote-unquote supposedly gave license to Richie Incognito to say that, no one has the right or license to renegotiate what’s right and wrong. And shame on those black ballplayers if they gave him license for that, because that’s not their responsibility that they’re devoid of understanding of all that’s been said.
► (Round-Table discussion with James Brown, Bart Scott, current Washington player London Fltetcher and former Washington and Detroit player Jon Jansen)
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JAMES BROWN: To the degree that at least it’s apparent, it’s being said, that young black ballplayers in that locker room gave another ballplayer, who happened to be white, license to use a racial epithet and calling the guy the N-word. Is that something that’s prevalent that you guys understand or have seen.
JON JANSEN: I didn’t know that that was a license that could be handed out. That’s not something that I would do. It’s not something on teams that I was in that I would allow to happen, whether it’s a rookie, a veteran. The leadership has to come from the guys in the locker room. When you talk about the leadership at the top, they have to be able to recognize who do we need in that locker room? If Richie Incognito is your best option, they need to go out and find maybe not the best offensive lineman, but the best guy they can get with the combination of playing ability and leadership.
LONDON FLETCHER: You have a bunch of misguided young men in that Miami Dolphins locker room. They lack leadership. Your most tenured guy is your long snapper. Long snappers are to be seen and not heard. Then you have Richie Incognito with nine years. A long snapper with 12 years…
BART SCOTT: It’s despicable. You have to have some type of leadership there. And the lack of it, to give somebody a free pass, anybody a free pass to say something derogatory to any race, I don’t care, black, white, any race is unacceptable.
►THAT OTHER PREGAME SHOW (TOPS) NOTES
(On Miami’s Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin)
BART SCOTT: How is that acceptable language? And if it was acceptable language, Richie Incognito, did you use it last year with Jason Taylor? Did you dare call Jason Taylor a half n-word? I guarantee you not because your teeth would be in the back of your throat.
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London Fletcher and Bart Scott talk about overcoming racial stereotypes in the NFL, and how it has played a role in the Richie Incognito/Jonathan Martin bullying situation.
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Jason La Canfora and Amy Trask discuss looming implications surrounding the Richie Incognito/Jonathan Martin bullying situation.
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(On what is next for Jonathan Martin)
Amy Trask joined Adam Schein to discuss if she’s ever seen anything like the Incognito/Martin situation in the NFL before and whether Jonathan Martin can go back to Miami or ever play again.
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AMY TRASK: I had the pleasure of working for several years with David Shaw, now of course the head coach at Stanford. (He) spoke about Jonathan Martin over the course of the past week. I have absolutely the highest regard for David Shaw and for his judgment and his wisdom. Based upon what David Shaw said about Jonathan Martin, I don’t think a team should have any problem whatsoever welcoming him back into a locker room. And I know I would not have a problem welcoming Jonathan Martin back into a locker room.
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