While the Jonathan Martin and Richie Incognito saga that will continue to unfold over the next couple of weeks and the one thing that has been clear since the story broke has been the lack of leadership in the Miami Dolphins locker starting with head coach Joe Philbin.
For example in 2012 Incognito reportedly harassed a volunteer at a Dolphins golf tournament. According to police reports he “used his golf club to touch her by rubbing it up against her vagina, then up her stomach then to her chest. He then used the club to knock a pair of sunglasses off the top of her head.”
Philbin has already confirmed his awareness of the alleged incident and said “we were made aware of the incident and we took immediate action.” Begging the question what were the actions? Incognito played in all 16 games for Miami in 2012 and incredibly enough the offensive linemen also found himself on a leadership council with the franchise.
As for the woman she was unable to speak about what happened due to a confidentiality agreement and many will assume that a financial settlement came between the two parties to settle any legal claims.
With Incognito having a checkered past throughout his NFL career it truly illustrates a failure in leadership by Philbin even if he were to give him the benefit of the doubt by not releasing him or suspending him for multiple games he still shouldn’t have been on a team’s leadership council.
Currently with the Martin situation it doesn’t bode well for Philbin as apparently coaches indicated that he needed to get “toughened up” by Incognito. There’s also voice mails that got sent that had threats including this one “(Expletive) you, you’re still a rookie. I’ll kill you.”
Even more concerning are the allegations from Martin’s lawyer. In one instance an “unnamed Dolphins player is said to have made a sexually explicit threat involving Martin’s sister.” Martin also attempted “to befriend the same teammates who subjected him to the abuse with the hope that doing so would end the harassment.”
Obviously the treatment didn’t stop and at that point he made the difficult decision to step away from the team. More recently Martin has spoken with Ted Wells an independent investigator and will eventually meet with Dolphins owner Stephen Ross.
For Incognito he has filed a non-football injury grievance against Miami as he’s been suspended indefinitely for conduct detrimental to the team due to the voice mail he left for Martin.
Still what does it say about the head coach that a young player doesn’t trust any of the coaches on staff? At the moment the Dolphins have a coach who is soft on discipline, completely clueless to what went on with his own players and isn’t trusted. That illustrates why Miami needs to fire Philbin.