I Believe Jonathan Martin

Jonathan Martin, Once and Future Miami Dolphin?

Jonathan Martin, Once and Future Miami Dolphin?

Here’s why. 

I’ve seen too many well educated African American athletes rejected by both white and less fortunate black players. 

Remember the Grant Hill-Jalen Rose 2011 kerfuffle?

“For me, Duke was a person,” Rose said in the documentary. “I hated Duke and I hated everything Duke stood for. Schools like Duke don’t recruit players like me. I felt like they only recruited black players that were Uncle Toms.”

In his editorial, Hill said, “It was a sad and somewhat pathetic turn of events, therefore, to see friends narrating this interesting documentary about their moment in time and calling me a b*tch and worse, calling all black players at Duke ‘Uncle Toms’ and, to some degree, disparaging my parents…”

(To be fair, Mr. Rose has explained that he has since matured and changed his mind.)

And it is very troubling to see that like Gwyneth Paltrow, Incognito apparently has been given honorary Negro status by some of his black teammates. Did this give Incognito silent approval for his behavior? Wow, I wish people would stop doing this. 


The Martin critiques seem suspiciously like those of African Americans and women trying to climb the corporate ladder, back when there was a ladder to climb. They won’t play the game. We can’t get into his head. He’s standoffish …


I’m baffled by the response of some other black NFL players? He didn’t handle the hazing like a man and simply punch Incognito in the face. This is what a man does? Really? Bookmark hypermasculinity for further discussion. The consequences for Martin might have been very different than those from Incognito who has managed to survive many stumbles. And maybe Martin is just a different kind of guy, one who doesn’t want to live in the man box. If he does his job, does he need to? 

I’m reserving judgment until all the facts emerge, but I’m betting that this thing will get uglier, documentation and all. 


About liftingasweclimb

Mildred Lewis writes and directs for theater, television, film and the web. She's also a full time professor, Christian, activist and troublemaker with a passion to save as much of the world as she can.
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