Yesterday afternoon, I was listening to The Sports Hub in MA wanting to hear more about the Richie Incognito fiasco taking place in Miami. I tuned in to the Gresh and Zo show, featuring Andy Gresh and Scott Zolak. Andy Gresh’s name probably doesn’t ring a bell, but those of us who would choose Backup Quarterbacks in the NFL During the 90s as a category on Jeopardy might recognize Scott Zolak’s name. He played most notably for New England and Miami. Always a bridesmaid, never a bride, but he does a passable job of waving the pom poms during lunch for Boston sports on the radio. Gresh is a big fat guy who played D1A football in Rhode Island somewhere.
So, given this pedigree, I thought it would be an interesting take on this locker room situation. Both of the hosts know first hand what it’s like to be in a football locker room. They of course started with the “using racial slurs is crossing the line” tack, which really isn’t that hard to take. So they certainly set up Incognito as the one clearly at fault here. He’s the bad guy. But then something interesting started happening: a not so subtle start to discredit, and borderline assign BLAME to Jonathan Martin in all of this. It first began with Zolak asking the question, “Does Martin want to play football? We always talk about how Belichick only gets guys who have football as their first priority (ahem… well, besides murdering people). If he can’t handle this stuff, is he really putting football as something important to him?” And then? They start in on his education and his parents. “He went to Stanford. Both of his parents are lawyers. He’s got other options in life, he was just given a gift of size so he decided to play football.”
Later in the day, I see Bert Breer tweet out the lawyer parent thing as well. Why tweet out their professions? What bearing does that have in this case and how is that information being used by readers beyond what appears to be a subtle attempt to suggest that his parents’ careers somehow reveal a character flaw of Martin’s? Where is the tweet informing us all of Incognito’s parents’ careers? (fwiw, his dad's a mason and if I wanted I could make all sorts of baseless insinuations about that if I wanted to be an asshole). It’s almost to say that “pfft… Martin’s parents are lawyers… it figures that a little pussy like that couldn’t stand up for himself. He can do the white collar thing like his parents, he's just quitting because that other stuff is easier. He obviously doesn't want it enough.”