The right punishment for Incognito

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Chicago Tribune sports columnist Steve Rosenbloom discusses Dolphins lineman Richie Incognito's Twitter apology. (Posted Feb 18, 2014)

Richie Incognito issued an apology to Jonathan Martin on Tuesday.

He tweeted it.

So heartfelt.

Whatever, it’s a little late for that. A lot late.

Incognito, the former Dolphins offensive lineman who assaulted his former teammate with anti-gay and racist slurs in person and texts, was saying recently the truth would bury Martin.

Instead, Ted Wells’ 144-page report buried Incognito, two teammates and the offensive line coach.

Yes, the offensive line coach, Jim Turner. That’s how Incognito became enabled to commit reprehensible acts.

Well, more reprehensible acts, given Incognito’s history of troglodyte behavior.

Wells documented ways in which Incognito, Turner, Mike Pouncey and John Jerry gleefully showed their homophobic and racist sides in their supposed mission to toughen up Martin.

The harassment included such things as explicit talk of what the players would do to Martin’s female family members, repeated use of the N word, homophobic taunts, and “improper physical touching,’’ Wells wrote.

Turner, the coach, the guy who could’ve acted like an adult in this pathetic act, bought a male blowup doll for Martin.

Incognito and his gang of idiots even verbally tortured the assistant trainer because he’s Asian.

Click here for NFL.com’s summary of lowlights of the Wells report, but you already know enough to know this:

Incognito can take his apology and sit forever. Incognito and his whole despicable bunch. None of them should be allowed back in the NFL.

Wells’ report details behavior that’s awful and actionable. That ought to get Roger Goodell’s attention.

If Goodell has a thought that goes beyond making money for the owners, then he bans these guys. All of them. Forever.

Ban them to make the point that human beings work here.

Look, if you can suspend players for parts of a season and a coach for a year for putting bounties on opponents’ heads, then you can certainly suspend these pathetic losers for violating so many forms of human decency that it would cost any normal company millions of dollars if this toxic workplace ever reached the courts.

Goodell and the NFL failed to hand down workplace rules, although in their defense, you shouldn’t have to set down things a normal person should already know, things that parents should teach their kids.

But enabled players don’t need much time to show how stupid they can be in the name of being a manly man.

So now, basic human conduct must be detailed by the league and sent to every player and coach and posted in every locker room, no matter how stupid that concept seems to basic humans.

That message has to be learned. But another message must be sent immediately. It has been five days since Wells released his report. Plenty of time. Quick, someone wake up Goodell and tell him it’s time to do the right thing right now.

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