When the Wells Report first came out most people were shocked and appalled about was going on. Many people were comparing what was going on in an NFL locker room to what goes on in their office space in white-collar America. I’m sorry but the two don’t compare. There are very few jobs in the average Joe world that can be compared to an NFL locker room. A few of those jobs are police, firefighters, and the military. I worked in one of those jobs. I served in the U.S. Navy for three years, in that environment your peers are the people you live with, work with, and spend your social life with. Like NFL players we also like to go out. Unlike NFL players we weren’t blowing 10 grand a night at Las Olas, Tootsies, and King of Diamonds. Like NFL players we also said sexist, racist, and homophobe jokes to each other, but one thing we always understood is that the life of the person next to you may lie in your hands one day. The Dolphins locker room did not understand that. I’m not comparing playing in the NFL with the hazards or military service but these guys should be trying to get the best out of each other. A place I see were the Dolphins locker room failed is that the team leaders did not take care of the in house stuff. Also, Jonathan Martin failed to take care of his own problems.
A good leader not only leads in the workplace or football field but they also take care of the in house issues before they started to affect the workplace. One of the best supervisors I had in the Navy was a great supervisor not only because he got the best out of us in the workplace but he also took care of us behind the scenes. Whenever senior leadership was delaying our paperwork he would approach then to have the process sped up. On Thanksgiving he would throw party for the junior guys so they would have somewhere to go other than sitting depressed in their barracks room. The Dolphins didn’t have anybody like this. To our knowledge nobody on the O-line or team ever approached Incognito to tell him to tone down his behavioral towards Martin, matter of fact the other senior offensive linemen piled on. The Dolphins locker room failed Martin big time there.
Not to dissolve Jonathan Martin from any of the blame but he also fail to take care of himself. I also had a few social issues in the Navy but whenever they were really bothering me I would approach the supervisor I previously stated, who at the time had twelve years of experience in the Navy, or my roommate who had eight years of experience in the Navy and was like the older brother I never had to me. To our knowledge Martin never approached any players in the locker room even when one offered help. Martin vented to his parents, two Harvard educated professionals who never experienced the animal house that is the NFL locker room.
It is unfair to compare the NFL locker room to the break room at work. It is two different environments but yes there were some bad things going on. The Dolphins locker room failed Jonathan Martin but Jonathan Martin also failed himself.