There is general agreement that bullying is bad. There have been some terrible stories about teens getting bullied and the long term impact on their lives. But what happens when an adult is the bully? Or more specifically, someone in the NFL who weighs over 300 pounds and gives a new team member a hard time? Like most people, I have been following the evolving story about Richie Incognito, Jonathan Martin, and the Miami Dolphins. When the story first broke many people were skeptical about the notion of grown men making millions of dollars being involved in a bullying situation. Worst case, it seems like some newbie hazing that spiraled out of control.
There are always two sides to every story. Yesterday, fellow players from the Miami Dolphins came to the defense of Incognito claiming that he is not a racist. Was this enough to sway the court of public opinion? What about the other elements of the story that have cropped up like the threating voice-mails to Martin and Incognito’s past history with other teams?
I used our Visible Intelligence social monitoring and analytics tool to look into the matter. The public is weighing in on the story with many discussions currently happening about Richie Incognito. There interesting thing about the results is that both players have both positive and negative comments about them with the majority being negative for each player. About 80% of comments about Incognito are negative but about the same ratio applies to Jonathan Martin which I thought was very surprising. It will be interesting to see how public opinion changes as more facts continue to be uncovered.