Unless you've been sleeping under a rock, or are not on Twitter, chances are you have heard about the Miami Dolphins player, Richie Incognito, who recently got suspended for treatment of another player on the same team. Do you believe Richie Incognito is guilty of what he has been accused of? If so, what basis did you use to form this conclusion? Of course, I'm not suggesting you tell me, what I'm trying to do is get you to ask yourself. My motivation, when I throw out questions such as these, is to spread awareness about conscious thought, not so much start a conversation going.
Yesterday, I noticed a tweet that was tweeted by the Miami Dolphins and it said that the National Football League will be doing an "objective investigation" into the matter. I called attention to the word, "objective" not because I am a bitch or wanting to dismiss something the Dolphins are tweeted, but because I want to draw attention to it. Let's talk about this for a minute. Of course, again that's rhetorical, and I realize I'm writing an article and you cannot participate in the conversation we're not really having, but let's pretend you are. I want to ask if you think the National Football League can be objective when it comes to investigating this matter. I suppose anything's possible, but is is probable? After all, doesn't a lawyer have to remove himself from being a potential juror due to the possibility there might be a conflict of interest? What I am suggesting when I call this matter into question, is that there is a conflict of interest here, that might cause the National Football League to be unable to be objective.
Let's take a look at the simple definition of 'objective' for a moment. Of course depending on where you go to look for the definition you might find different ones, but for the most part and according to The Merriam-Webster Dictionary in my office it basically means "independent thought" and "without distortion" and "free of prejudice" [ 2010].
Harassment and bullying in the workplace are serious matters. This behavior can affect the morale of staff, have a direct impact on productivity, and cause a downward spiral that is perhaps immeasurable. Harassment can be defined as any unwelcome comment, conduct or gesture that is insulting, intimidating, humiliating, malicious, degrading or offensive. It might be repeated or an isolated incident but it is so significant that it adversely affects someone's performance, contribution or work environment. It can include physical, degrading or threatening behavior, abuse of power, isolation, discrimination, sexual and/or racial harassment. Harassment is behavior that is unwanted by the recipient even if the recipient does not tell the harasser that the behavior is unwanted. Bullying is ongoing unreasonable behavior which is often intended to humiliate or undermine the recipient but is not specifically unlawful. [http://www.eeotrust.org.nz/toolkits/harassment.cfm]
The above caption was taken from an article I found on the internet and it relates to the legalization and liabilities under New Zealand law, not the laws here in the United States. Yet, I have no doubt that employers here in the United States are obligated in the same manner. They must create a safe working environment for their employees and do what is necessary to ensure there are steps to avoid both physical and mental harm. Now, of course, employees who go around tackling other people for a living get injured, and there is a bit of a specialness when it comes to what would constitute bullying in the National Football League.
Still though, just like the song by, I can't remember the band at the moment, but that song that asked, "What is love?' you know what it is when you find it. I think the same holds true for bullying or hostile environment, even when you are in the National Football League and you tackle people for a living.
Am I rambling again? Did I miss my point? That can happen when I start to think of a song, and my mind tends to wonder. So let me get back on point. My point and question, "Can the National Football League conduct an "objective" investigation when it comes into examining whether bullying took place within the Miami Dolphins organization. I am going to suggest that it cannot. I say this because I believe that the relationship between the National Football League and a team would allow for inherent bias, that is unavoidable. There are reasons that we have administrative agencies, and while many question their validity, now is the time to realize that very reason they exist. They exist because of the reality that many times a third party is needed to get to the bottom of a matter, and institute effective change. What responsibility does the National Football League have when it comes to protecting its players, and what about requiring a formal grievance policy that would allow for anonymous reporting of a matter like this. Why are we learning about the matter this way? Why didn't Jonathan Martin, the player who made the allegations against RIchie Incognito have an avenue other than public display? Isn't there a formal grievance policy in place? If not, whose responsibility should it have been to ensure that there was one? What if it is the responsibility, both morally and legally to be that of the National Football League. Of course, I'm not suggesting it is, but I'm throwing it out there. What if, it is? How then, can the NFL be objective when in reality they might be subject to punitive damages being sought, if in fact they failed to adhere to their obligations.
All I am saying is there are both federal and state laws that are involved in employment practices and the National Football League may not be capable of being "objective" when it comes to investigations such as these. If we learned anything from the recent lawsuit initiated by players, we learned that there are many who believe the National Football League is a league of denial. Why wouldn't we want to err on the side of caution, and allow a third party, who has knowledge of the uniqueness of the league and teams to conduct an investigation.
As always, I don't profess to be right. I simply profess to be wondering allowed and I welcome and respect all those who disagree with me. This is perhaps an opinion, not a right or wrong matter. Thank you for wanting to know my POV.