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SBD/November 15, 2013/Franchises
Incognito Files Grievance Against Dolphins For Suspension, Requests Expedited Hearing
Published November 15, 2013
PENDING RAMIFICATIONS: USA TODAY's Tom Pelissero writes, "Jobs and a lot of money are at stake for many involved" in the scandal, "from Incognito and Martin to coach Joe Philbin and his assistants, general manager Jeff Ireland and other team staffers." Future litigation "could be costly for owner Stephen Ross, who asked NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for help." The NFL, "under more scrutiny than ever over player safety issues and just one year removed from suspensions in the controversial" Saints bounty case, "could make an example of Incognito just as it did" to Saints coach Sean Payton, defensive coordinator Gregg Williams and LB Jonathan Vilma. The resolution of the Dolphins' situation "might be more complicated than imposing a hard-line hazing ban, which could have unintended consequences." Schepisi & McLaughlin Managing Partner Silvana Raso, whose law firm handles school and workplace bullying cases, said that the Dolphins franchise "could be held accountable not only for what it knew about illegal discrimination, but what it should have known." Philbin has publicly said that the team was "unaware of the alleged abuse until Nov. 3, when Martin's representatives turned over evidence that led to Incognito's suspension that night." The Martin case "could be to hazing what the Saints scandal was to bounties." The NFL's investigation into the Dolphins at a minimum "figures to lend some teeth to team and league policies on workplace harassment" (USA TODAY, 11/15).
A CALL FOR TRANSPARENCY: In San Jose, Mark Purdy writes of Incognito's filing of a grievance claim, "Let's make certain that the NFL Network televises every moment of the hearing, with Martin and Incognito and every other relevant person testifying." Then we will "finally get a complete picture of how weird" the Dolphins' locker room culture "was -- and perhaps still is." This incident "should provide a visual textbook for how not to conduct business in major league sports" (SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS, 11/15).