This whole mess with Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin is no fun to watch. A colleague of mine wrote a great piece about the situation that I wanted to share. Click here for a read. It is a well-written piece that highlights the work of Joe Ehrmann, featured figure in the book Season of Life, and delivers a great message at the end.
Richie Incognito certainly has a track record that paints an awful picture of behavior that has persisted. I went to look up the word “incognito” in the dictionary, and to my surprise, the neighbor of the word “incognito” in the dictionary I used (yes, I still have a paper copy dictionary I use even with all my techy gadgets) was “inclusive.” There is definitely irony here (Mrs. Piwko was just talking about irony in her 8th grade class). Incognito is a word that means, “one’s identity concealed.” It can also mean locker room menace, purveyor of false masculinity and “boys will be boys” philosopher. Dictionary aside, this is what we know of the man Incognito. None of this is any good.
Yet, the word found next to “incognito” in my dictionary was “inclusive.” If Incognito had only looked at his neighbor he would have seen a word that means, “embracing of others,” regardless of who they are, and “taking everything into account.” Jonathan Martin was that guy next to him in the locker room. A guy, who was not embraced, rather ridiculed. His emotional well-being was also never taken into account. Incognito was not “inclusive,” no matter how he tries to spin his relationship with Martin.
It seems to me that Incognito is in fact trying to conceal his true identity, as opposed to owning his actions (not just with the Dolphins). It’s almost as if he is being true to the word that spells like his name in the dictionary. The irony is so thick here. The word next to incognito is the antidote for such hate mongering. Inclusive! If only Richie looked to the word above him as an answer, as opposed to being himself.