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Sunday, November 10, 2013

NFL Locker Room Culture


As the Richie Incognito/Jonathan Martin bullying case continues to spill out of the Miami Dolphins locker room, I invited Billy Corben to talk about it on my America Weekend show. Corben directed the documentary "Broke" for ESPN's 30-For-30 series, about athlete finances, and was shocked by tales of "locker room extortion" that veterans force upon rookies in the NFL. For instance, Martin was forced to pay $15,000 for some of the older players to go to Las Vegas, a trip he wasn't allowed to go on. Then there's Leon Searcy, a former Pittsburgh Steelers lineman who spent $20,000 on perks for veterans.

Corben and I also discussed the hazing traditions and locker room culture of the NFL -- from racism to bullying threats -- and whether outsiders like us should even be commenting on something we've never been a part of. I, of course, have no qualms speaking out whenever I see someone doing something wrong, and don't buy the "it's just our culture" argument that is always used to defend wrongful behavior.

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Meanwhile, on the CBS NFL Sunday show, Shannon Sharpe -- who did play the game and is therefore, I guess, permitted to speak on the subject -- came down hard on the "locker room culture" of the Dolphins in allowing a white player to use the n-word towards black players...