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Pollard on bullying: 'Can't be allowed'

11/6/2013

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Bernard Pollard draws a crowd every Wednesday when he talks in the Tennessee Titans' locker room.

I thought he was so interesting on the Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin story and the idea of bullying in the NFL, I’m just going to share the bulk of it directly from him.

  • “Any organization, any person, any players, that’s something you don’t want to have to deal with. It’s a rough situation. We are on the outside looking in. I can’t put myself in the young fellow’s shoes at all. It’d be hard. But you’ve just got to hope that he comes back and that he recovers. I don’t know how bad he’s doing but I hope he recovers … I feel bad for the guy but at the same time, guys allowed it and didn’t step up."

  • “I’m going to be honest with all of you, some of y’all probably said it before. People are saying it. As far as the bullying and everything else, that’s tough. Anytime you see things like that, me as a player, first and foremost, that can’t happen. It can’t happen on a football team, it can’t be allowed. I can’t stand by and watch. Because as a leader, as a man, you don’t do that. You don’t demean somebody. You don’t bully somebody."

  • “Our motto as far as the NFL, as far as the shield, we’ve been anti-bullying. We’ve been trying to fix that with commercials and everything else. And all of a sudden now it’s going on in a locker room? That’s tough. What are we saying now, when we’re trying to tell kids at elementary schools and middle schools and high schools don’t do it but then we turn around and we’re doing it?"

  • “It’s not fair, what he did to the young man. I’m hearing everybody else’s comments, talking about how he needs to step up and be a man and he needs to handle this. That’s tough, man. I can’t sit here and say that. I’m not going to sit here and say that 'that man’s a punk for leaving.' He went through something. He might have went through something when he was younger, it took him back. We don’t know that. We don’t know the history of what has happened to that young fella. I think the league has stepped in and are doing things about it and are doing the right thing."

  • “[Incognito] is a hard-nosed guy, he plays the game of football, he does some extra stuff but other than that, and as far as his character off the field, I am totally shocked. You heard a lot of guys step up and went to bat for him, how he’s a good guy, how he’s not racist. I’m not going to call him a racist; I don’t believe he is racist. I just think he used some words and said some things that shouldn’t be said. He demeaned a guy who wouldn’t stand up for himself. And that had no place in NFL locker rooms or locker rooms period, in schools and in life.”