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Is it bullying or harmless fun between adults?

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Mike's Minute

By Mike Aldridge

Before I get into the topic of my article, I want to congratulate the Licking Valley Singers on another wonderful program this past Sunday.  
The theme of the program was Songs of the Silver Screen and the songs all brought back memories of movies that I had watched when I was younger except for Somewhere over the Rainbow. Since I never saw The Wizard of Oz as a child I didn’t remember the song for that reason.  
While all of the music was good, the most wonderful was the duet sang by Michaela and Marie Bowen. They sang Beauty and the Beast in a magnificent style which was truly remarkable. I just wish Cecelia could have heard them.
The mess inside the Miami Dolphins football team became a public issue during the last few weeks and the more that I hear the more questions I have.  
If any of you are not familiar with the issue, offensive lineman Richie Incognito sent a message to fellow lineman Jonathan Martin which was offensive, inappropriate, ridiculous and any other adjective that you can think of to describe a rude message.  
Martin then left the team and filed a complaint with the Dolphins saying he was being subjected to hazing, threats and other demeaning actions.  
These actions included threats to his mother and sister.  
Martin alleged that this had been going on for months.  
The Dolphins’ general manager Jeff Ireland told Martin’s agent that Martin should punch Incognito in the face to take care of the problem.  
Incognito insinuated that Coach Joe Philbin or one of the assistant coaches had asked him to “toughen up” the 315 pound Martin because he wasn’t carrying his part of the bargain for the line.  
To date that claim has not been denied or verified so the NFL’s investigator will have to look into that.  
Incognito has also said that the message was a private message between friends and that he is very surprised that Martin is claiming that he is being abused by him and the other linemen.  
The Dolphins’ offensive linemen have supported Incognito’s version of the incident while agreeing that the language used was not appropriate.
My opinion is that while salty language and actions are a part of team sports and other groups of adults interacting at times, the actions of Incognito went way beyond normal interaction.  
Often times locker room language and actions are “adult rated,” but threats to family members of sexual acts and physical abuse are not an accepted part of any locker room anywhere.  
I believe that Incognito is a bully of epic proportion and his actions became public before the Dolphins, who were complicit, could quiet it down.  
He has been suspended by the Dolphins and the big money is on him not playing in the NFL again.
Sounds like a good idea to me.