Bryant McKinnie makes a misguided comment about bullying

Miami Dolphins tackle Jonathan Martin (71) walks off the field after a game against the Buffalo Bills at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Veteran offensive tackle Bryant McKinnie has been involved in plenty of interesting incidents over the course of his career, whether it be the “Loveboat” or the reported sequence of events that led to Jacoby Jones getting hit with a bottle by a stripper. McKinnie has been a starter in this league for quite some time, and the impressively big OT has had plenty of head-scratching moments in his career. He decided to sound off on the Jonathan Martin situation, which led to a rather uneducated comment about bullying.

He said on SiriusXM NFL Radio, via Pro Football Talk’s Michael David Smith, “I don’t feel like ‘bullying’ is the term because nobody physically harmed him or made him do anything. He always had an option to say yes or no. It was never that he got bullied like he feared for his life. I just feel like he went about it the wrong way and didn’t communicate properly with the proper people. . . . The players themselves thought Jonathan was laughing with them.”

Well gee, I didn’t know bullying was only physical. I didn’t know that constantly berating somebody- especially when they were dealing with other emotional issues and needed stress- is OK. I didn’t know that the kid who gets picked on at school with ugly words isn’t being bullied. I mean, it’s all fun and jokes, right? It’s all team bonding, right?

Then there’s his golden nugget, “He always had an option to say yes or no.”

I don’t think I even need to get into the stupidity of that statement.

“It was never that he got bullied like he feared for his life.”

OK, so bullying is only on the level of attempted murder?

The last two sentences, however, are definitely fair remarks, and I think it’s a solid assertion from McKinnie. But the first three sentences? C’mon man!

Anyway, McKinnie is set to hit free agency at the age of 35, and he’s trying to assure potential suitors that he will keep his weight down and be effective. It was McKinnie whom the Dolphins acquired from the Baltimore Ravens in the season to replace Martin at left tackle, but McKinnie has plenty of questions to answer when it comes to his ability to produce going forward. His status with the Dolphins is uncertain, but he should be able to find work in 2014.

Topics: Bryant McKinnie, Jonathan Martin, Miami Dolphins

Want more from NFL Spin Zone?  
Subscribe to FanSided Daily for your morning fix. Enter your email and stay in the know.
  • Sean P. Edwards

    While I think that Bryant didn’t fully think through his word choice, I think that his main point was that the other players were not aware that Martin wasn’t taking the ribbing, or abuse, as it was intended, as a joke or part of the overall locker room mentality. If Martin had ever just told Incognito that the comments bothered him, or stressed him out, they may have stopped. I haven’t read one way or another whether Martin ever did so, and what Incognito’s response was. But that is usually the first actions that should have been taken. I think that was Bryant’s point.