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Lowell Cohn: Richie Incognito now notorious for alleged abuse

  • FILE - In this July 24, 2013 file photo, Miami Dolphins guard Richie Incognito (68) and tackle Jonathan Martin (71) stand on the field during an NFL football practice in Davie, Fla. Two people familiar with the situation say suspended Dolphins guard Incognito sent text messages to teammate Jonathan Martin that were racist and threatening. The people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the Dolphins and NFL haven't disclosed the nature of the misconduct that led to Incognito's suspension. Martin remained absent from practice Monday, Nov. 4, 2013, one week after he suddenly left the team. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)

After Martin left the team, the Dolphins suspended Incognito indefinitely. He was the leader of a disgusting team culture. I am not saying this culture is limited to the Dolphins.

I imagine it's not.

I will say one thing about the 49ers. They are the football team I cover the most. I've covered them for decades. To the best of my ability to judge these things, the 49ers don't have a culture of hazing or harassing of younger players — of any players.

I can't swear to this because I am not behind closed doors. This is only my hunch, but it's a hunch based on experience. At practice, the veterans will drop their pads as they walk off the field, and the rookies will pick up the pads and carry them into the locker room. It's like the veterans are saying, "I'm old and need a hand." And the rookies gladly carry the pads as the veterans carried them in their day. This is a far cry from what happened to poor Jonathan Martin.

Back to the Dolphins: According to reports, veterans insisted rookies pay them for various trips, although veterans usually make more money than rookies.

According to one report, Incognito forced (extorted?) Martin to give 15 grand to teammates for a Vegas trip. Martin "contributed," but chose not to go with his "pals."

Last season, Martin's rookie season, veterans called him "Big Weirdo." How would you like to be called Big Weirdo on the job? Is it even legal to do that?

I don't know why they called Martin Big Weirdo. I do know he went to Stanford and Stanford players must seem a little weird in the NFL, although things worked out pretty well for Jim Plunkett and John Elway.

In one NFL locker room players recently and openly debated the sexual orientation of a former Stanford player — not Martin. Good grief.

Martin blew his fuse when his teammates pulled a miserable prank on him last week. When he sat down at a table in the cafeteria, all the other players got up and walked away. After that, Martin also walked away, walked right off the team.


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