Wed., November 13, 2013 11:15am (EST)

Why Has Football Become So Brutish?
By Frank Deford
Updated: 8 months ago

Miami Dolphins guard Richie Incognito (left) and tackle Jonathan Martin stand on the field during an NFL football practice in Davie, Fla. Incognito that included racial slurs to Martin, his younger teammate, who left the NFL after he faced harassment that his lawyer said went "beyond locker-room hazing."
Miami Dolphins guard Richie Incognito (left) and tackle Jonathan Martin stand on the field during an NFL football practice in Davie, Fla. Incognito that included racial slurs to Martin, his younger teammate, who left the NFL after he faced harassment that his lawyer said went "beyond locker-room hazing."
Not surprisingly, in the explosive revelations about the Miami Dolphins team turmoil, most attention has been paid to the fact that, in the midst of a locker room predominately composed of African-American players, a white, Richie Incognito, slurred a black teammate, Jonathan Martin, with the ugliest racial epithet and was actually publicly supported by some blacks on the team. Incognito's sadistic employment of the word has not only sickened but also astounded most of us.

However, I would submit that once we accept the inherent racism in this one dismal affair, the greater lasting impression will be to damage the sport of football itself, for the broader implications illustrate again how brutish our most popular American game has become.

Click on the audio link above to hear Deford's take on this issue.


Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.