Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Fletcher disappointed in Dolphins' vets
By John Keim
ASHBURN, Va. -- London Fletcher said he’s never been in a situation where he needed to stop rookie hazing, or even any form of bullying. That doesn’t mean he wouldn’t if he had to. And that’s why he’s disappointed in the Miami Dolphins’ leadership.
Fletcher said the team’s leadership should have put an end to the situation involving offensive linemen Jonathan Martin and Richie Incognito.
“I’m real disappointed in the leadership in the locker room in Miami,” Fletcher said. “Who were the leaders on the team? I know Martin didn’t feel comfortable enough to go to any of the guys. Either you’re encouraging it or you’re turning a blind eye and allowing the guy to get treated like he was getting treated. That’s the biggest thing that disappointed me. There was not a veteran guy strong enough to stop what was happening to that young man.”
Fletcher said aside from a couple rookies getting upset with a gag pulled against them, he hasn’t seen anything this bad.
“They might get offended so you got to calm that situation,” he said. “This was something beyond that.”
And he said the language Incognito used in his texts went way beyond what’s acceptable. When asked if that’s the sort of language that goes on in the locker room, Fletcher said, “Not from a white teammate. I think you have to be conscious of that. What he said, shows racism and bigotry. To leave a voice mail like that, he probably said that to the guy’s face. He was very bold. I don’t know if he said it around other guys or was just something he said to Jonathan in privacy. You can’t allow someone to be that comfortable around you to use that type of language at all.”
Linebacker Brian Orakpo went even stronger during an appearance on NFL AM on Tuesday.
“I wish it was me. I would have busted him in his mouth, to be honest with you,” Orakpo said. “But at the end of the day, those guy have to be smart. You really don’t know who you’re messing with. I don’t know. I feel like we don’t have characters like that in our locker room, man, and I think it’s kinda ridiculous. I’m kinda getting upset thinking about it.”