Pastor Gaylon Clark shares this story: “Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin had every reason as teammates to be friends, but they were not. Incognito harassed and bullied Martin. He called him a racial slur in a voicemail played by every media outlet in the country. He threatened to kill him and his family. Incognito claimed all of this was just locker room talk. It is the way the guys talk to one another in the NFL.
Apparently, Martin didn't get the memo. Martin left his lucrative job citing emotional issues and fearing for his life. Though we don't know all the details, it appears as if Martin has some culpability, as well. He was far too passive in dealing with Incognito's threatening behavior. As a teammate, it appears, he should have expressed how troubling Incognito's threats were to him. These two men had many more reasons to get along than to have a toxic relationship. Consider all the reasons they had to be friends.
- They were both football players.
- On the same team.
- Had the same coach.
- Both were offensive linemen.
- Both played on the same side of the line.
- Both were starters.
- Both wanted to win.
- Both are big dudes.
- Both were millionaires.
Yet somewhere along the way one or both of them forgot they played for the same team . . . They forgot the enemy was in another city. They forgot the enemy is on another team.
Similarly, we have many more reasons to honor one another than to dishonor one another.
- We have the same owner!
- The same Father cheering us on from the press box.
- The same Savior who scouted us and forgave us.
- The same Spirit within.
- The same playbook.
- The same purpose.
- We are going to same place when life is over.”
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