Mike Pouncey, the center for the Dolphins, is the son of a biracial couple. This needs to be mentioned, because his rogue, white teammate called another teammate a "half n-----," and as you could imagine, Pouncey reacted strongly on behalf of the "victim."
Pouncey pledged his support not to Jonathan Martin, but to Richie Incognito, his fellow offensive lineman and the most scorned football player in America right now. Seriously. On Sunday, as the controversy surrounding Incognito and his boorish treatment of Martin began to swirl, as evidence was building that would ultimately paint Incognito as a punk, Pouncey retweeted this from his pal: "Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth."
Well, we know a little more today about "the truth," based on emails and telephone messages -- you know, hard evidence -- which produce two shocking conclusions. One, Incognito might very well be a racist, and two, some of his black Dolphins teammates, Pouncey prominent among them, are too stupid to have a problem with that.
This is, by far, the most disturbing and nauseating thing to emerge from the Dolphins locker room "culture," which had a scab pulled from it this week, revealing an ugly, nasty boil.
I never thought I'd see the day when a white player, with a long history of being a jerk, who was caught on camera using the N-word, who disrespected a black player and his mother, would be high-fived and hugged by … black teammates. And I thought I'd seen everything in sports after 25 years.
What Incognito did was twice as bad as the racial crime committed by Eagles receiver Riley Cooper, who at least shot the N-word to a concert security guard and blamed it on the alcohol. Incognito went full-blast against a teammate and probably nuked the Dolphins' season in the process. So you'd think he'd be an outcast right now, getting the cold shoulder from teammates of color whose grandparents had to put up with this b.s. for a large part of their lives. Right?
Oh, you couldn't be more wrong. Here's what receiver Mike Wallace said: "I love Richie. I think he's a great guy. I don't think he was out of hand. I have a lot of respect for Richie."
Are … you … kidding … me?
Will Davis, a Dolphins cornerback, went a step further, calling Incognito one of the most popular players on the team -- a team that's majority black, by the way. "Everybody loves him," said Davis, whose locker room poll evidently didn't include Martin's vote.
Oh, and get this, from Davis: "Richie's a funny guy." Great guy, love, respect, funny. That's what black players were saying about a possible racist. Yes, he's a real riot, all right. Instead of slapping Incognito for being vile, black Dolphins players were too busy slapping their own knees in rip-roaring laughter.
Hey, did you hear what my man Richie just said? My man! My N-word!
Somewhere, in his grave, Jackie Robinson is rolling, too, though probably not in laughter. Same for Jack Johnson, Satchel Paige, Larry Doby and on and on, people who endured the kind of abuse in their day that shouldn't be tolerated now, not by whites and most certainly not by blacks. We all believe in forgiveness, but based on their reactions, black Dolphins players never punished Incognito first. Shouldn't that happen? Isn't that Step 1 in the process?
This is absolutely stunning. To be sure, only two people know what went on between Martin and Incognito. Pranks, poking fun, teasing, perhaps that all occurred to a degree. That's locker-room, jock stuff, the kind of juvenile behavior that for some reason is valued and encouraged by overgrown and (mostly) immature men, who've spent much of their lives living by different societal rules than the rest of us. OK, we get that.
When it gets racial, then those rules don't apply anymore. Then there's only one person to side with, and you'd think black players -- teammates! -- would form the first layer of defense. But in the Dolphins locker room, they're too busy laughing at Incognito's jokes, because he's "funny." That's the kind of scene you'd expect back in the plantation days, in the big house, when the servants roared with approval at their master's N-word jokes.
For those waiting to see an outpouring of anger, through interviews and social media, from black Dolphins toward their favorite comedian, be prepared to grow a beard longer than any on the Red Sox. It's not happening, or at least it doesn't appear to be.
If some of these teammates, for some reason, harbor dislike for Martin, we don't know that. If they do, we hope it's not because Martin comes from a stable home, with a lawyer mother and college professor father, or because he went to Stanford and is playing football for the love of it, not because he lacks other (and maybe more meaningful) options. You hope that because Martin is "different" in this regard, his black teammates, many from more humble beginnings and who speak a different language, aren't holding that against him.
But that's beside the point, anyway. The crucial matter here, and the only one, is the acceptance of a thug and possible racist by people who should know better.
And of all people, we can begin with Pouncey. You wonder how Pouncey's father, a black man, feels about being called the worst half of his son. Because that's essentially what Richie Incognito feels about biracial people. And for the record, both of Martin's parents are African-American -- so I guess Incognito was just talking about Pouncey. Retweet that.