Peter King on M&M: Jonathan Martin-Richie Incognito situation ‘sounds almost like it’s the battered-wife syndrome’
|11.08.13 at 1:17 pm ET|
Sports Illustrated’s Peter King made his weekly appearance on Mut & Merloni on Friday to talk about the disturbing situation with the Dolphins as well as Patriots news.
The Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin saga seems to take a new turn every day, with Incognito getting support from teammates after being suspended by the team for his treatment of his fellow offensive lineman.
“It’s too easy to say Incognito ought to be sentenced to 10 years with Miss Manners or something, or to say Martin is wrong — or one of them is wrong, one of them is right. There’s fault on each side,” King said. “Honestly, I can’t get past Incognito and the name-calling. I don’t know what it is. I don’t know what other walk of life, what sort of band of brothers [in which] it’s OK to call a person with one white parent and one black parent a half-N-word. I can’t get past that.”
The Dolphins organization has been criticized for its handling of the matter, but King said management might have been in the dark as to the extent of the problem because Martin apparently was hesitant to address it with anyone.
“That’s the problem here — I don’t know that he ever did. I’m not sure that Jonathan Martin went to any person in the organization,” King said, adding, “It sounds almost like it’s the battered-wife syndrome, where you don’t want to tell anybody because you think that’s just going to make it worse.”
Looking at the future for the players, King said he thinks both will return to the league.
“If Richie Incognito is cut at some point and he serves whatever suspension he’s served either by the Dolphins or the league, if he has the ability to come back at any point this year, in my opinion, I think he’ll be signed by a playoff contender, and I think he’ll play down the stretch,” King said. “There might be some guys who look at him like, ‘We’ll go on the field together, but don’t talk to me. I don’t want to know you.’ But I think that football, and contending in football, and the NFL playoffs, and stories like this, they make strange bedfellows. And I think that a desperate team that might need a guard is going to call him.
“Having said that, you ask about Martin, Martin is one of those guys who, he is going to play football somewhere, and he’s going to be welcomed back by a segment of the locker room, but there’s also going to be a segment of whatever team he goes to who’s going to think he’s a rat. And that’s all there is to it — fair, unfair, whatever. You know that guys in NFL locker rooms now are going to brand this guy as somebody who went outside the family to share his problems and to try to get his problems fixed.
“You and I and any normal person outside NFL locker rooms would say, what kind of help is he going to get, what kind of relief is he going to get telling Richie Incognito, ‘Hey, please stop picking on me.’ Or stop laughing about it, and all that. I think he will go back, but I think it will be a tough road for him.”
King said he believes commissioner Roger Goodell will eventually treat this like the Saints’ bounty scandal and issue an edict to cut out all hazing.
“We see now what happened when players are left to their own devices and how far they’ll go to ‘indoctrinate’ a player and try to get him to be one of the guys,” King said. “So, I honestly think that the NFL is going to take a very hard line on this, because they just can’t have any workplace issues the way that these have been raised.”
The Patriots are off this weekend as they prepare for the final two months of the season with a 7-2 mark and a two-game lead over the Jets in the AFC East.
“I think the bye week for them comes at a very good time,” King said. “I think the most difficult job that they’ll have down the stretch — I like Kansas City, I like Denver a little bit more right now. I just think that right now New England would have a better chance of beating Kansas City than they would Denver. I’d question whether New England — depending on where the game is played — whether New England can get in a scoring contest and beat Peyton Manning right now.
“At the end of the day, they’re probably going to win the division. And if they win the division, what’s their road? If they’re the fourth seed, they’re going to have a very, very tough game the first game of the wild card. They’re either going to have Kansas City or Peyton Manning coming to Foxboro. That’s almost established. So, if I’m them, I’m saying please, win the 1 or 2 seed. You do not want to be No. 4 this year.”