Bullying: Why the Jonathan Martin situation is less complicated than we think

In light of the full report being published today, here’s my thoughts (with an update) on Martin/Incognito.

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Let’s consider this scenario: You run the day-to-day operations at a company that is worth hundreds of million dollars. One of your higher-paid employees complains that he’s been (allegedly) threatened, made to feel unsafe, and has been subject to racial slurs by another employee. He has voicemails to prove these allegations. This is an easy solution. You fire the misbehaving employee, who probably doesn’t get another job anywhere else, and you hope the first employee doesn’t sue the company.

So why are people getting upset that Miami Dolphins cut Richie Incognito? Because Jonathan Martin, the player allegedly bullied to the point that he quit a job that paid him millions of dollars, is big and tough and should have confronted his bully? We tend to live in this masculine fantasy world where, if someone commits an act that hurts or insults us, we hypothetically confront them, forcefully or physically. But…

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