The last week has seen a lot of discussion of bullying in NFL locker rooms and the effects on players as highlighted in the incident featuring Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin. Brandon Marshall, receiver for the Chicago Bears and mental health advocate, has made a strong statement about the need for the culture of the NFL needs to change. He says for that to happen there needs to be a cultural shift for men and boys.
“Take a little boy and a little girl. A little boy falls down and the first thing we say as parents is ‘Get up, shake it off. You’ll be OK. Don’t cry.’ When a little girl falls down, what do we say? ‘It’s going to be OK.’ We validate their feelings. So right there from that moment, we’re teaching our men to mask their feelings, don’t show their emotions. And it’s that times 100 with football players. You can’t show that you’re hurt, you can’t show any pain. So for a guy to come into the locker room and he shows a little vulnerability, that’s a problem. That’s what I mean by the culture of the NFL. And that’s what we have to change.”
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Owner of the Dophins, Stephen Ross, has made a statement:
The owner vowed before Monday night’s game between the Dolphins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers to get to bottom of the allegations and create a locker room culture that “suits the 21st century.”