Seriously Troubled Incognito Reflective of Dysfunctional Dolphins

PC: Tracking

PC: Tracking

The verdict has come down and Richie Incognito is a man in denial and diagnosable. This is why he took things too far. He consistently exhibits a pattern of thinking that leads to misguided actions-which have now been well documented in Ted Wells report.

Incognito has indicated, all along,  that he meant no harm to Martin his dearest friend, until most recently when he took to twitter to ream Martin out, another sign of his instability.

Incognito has also consistently attempted to clarify for us that the culture of his work place environment, which involves among other things; racial slurs, threats against one’s family and questions about others sexual orientation, is the norm. It is not.

With a long history of this these atypical behaviors it is no shock that Incognito was the ring leader in this disgrace. The fact that Incognito thinks that he has done nothing wrong only further underscores his unstable mental status.

There is denial and psychopathology and it appears that at this point, Incognito has both. They are not mutually exclusive and often co-mingle in the psychiatrically ill.

For people who have not been around psychopathology and individuals who have misguided thinking, I can see how some might not understand how a misguided pattern of thinking develops.

Most often people who do not think clearly have a chemical imbalance that is biologically based. Like anything else it is affected by the environment in which one is raised and lives in.

It is just that pattern of thinking that prevents the cure because if you do not realize you are ill, you do not seek treatment.

Incognito truly believes what he is saying, that is what makes him so dangerous.

In speaking with clients I attempt to explain to them that if they are comfortable with their actions and can accept the consequences that come with them there is no problem.

Additionally, I attempt to assist them to see what effects their behavior had on others as well as the potential consequences to them.

Those that do not care or are unable to see what they have done are more seriously impaired. They usually receive harsher penalties in life because they cannot adjust their behavior to the greater environmental norm.

This is exactly the case with Incognito who is in need of treatment. Treatment should consist of both a psychiatric evaluation and professional psychological counseling, certainly not the kind that Tony Dungy offers.

While Ted Wells report clearly indicates that the culture in the Miami Dolphin locker room was vilely pathological, Incognito was at the center of the storm.

The NFL with its violent testosterone based environment is a veritable petri dish for those prone to psychopathology and even perhaps attracts it. The Dolphins locker room was just that.

All of this was avoidable, but the NFL thinks they know more about the mental health of their players than they actually do. This makes the NFL and the Miami Dolphins accountable for what has happened, as ignorance and looking the other way are no excuse for transgression.

The NFL has yet to figure out that the best predictor of one’s future behavior is their past, and Incognito’s past is filled with multiple, well documented precursors of this fiasco, making his future both in and out of the game questionable.

This is not the first time this year the NFL has fumbled the ball with players who have serious psychological issues.

Aldon Smith, Justin Blackmon and Aaron Hernandez are all prime examples of where the NFL dropped the ball.

In the case of Hernandez he sits in a jail cell awaiting trial on multiple murders charges, with recent reports suggesting he was a drug user.  His significantly troubled past was also well documented.

But the NFL has sold its soul to winning so they overlook certain characteristics that might suggest that a player is not mentally balanced.  This has been going on for generations with Lawrence Taylor being one of many poster boys for the league’s penchant for turning the other eye.

To the NFL’s credit they are attempting to get work place policies in place but they are late to the gate. Their system of evaluating players is horribly flawed.  Any well trained psychologist could have predicted, or at least warned, that Incognito et al were capable of doing what they did.

In addition, a good clinical-psychological evaluation yields highly predictive information about who has leadership qualities, who is susceptible to being a follower, a joiner and most significantly who has pathological tendencies.

It now has come to light that Mike Pouncey and John Jerry were Incognitos accomplices in the crime and their offensive line coach Jim Turner not only knew about what was going on but condoned and participated in it.

This is dysfunction at its best that is easily picked up by a discerning eye-but in this case we are dealing with a blind one.  It was not a lack of leadership on the Dolphins that led to this event as some have suggested.

Rather it was incompetency, a lack of proper psychological screening, and the stubborn embrace of a dying old school homophobic and a deeply prejudiced culture that created this sick story.

Detection and identifying those that are troubled would have required the NFL to have a better understanding of mental health. One television commentator remarked that Incognito is a Neanderthal, he well could have been speaking about the NFL who is in the dark ages when it comes to understanding and evaluating mental health.

The NFL has been forced to make changes as one explosive story emerges after another about players who were in need of treatment or did not receive appropriate treatment, hurting themselves and others.

It is hoped that the NFL will make these necessary changes before any further tragedies occur, because the loss of any human life at the hands or words of a disturbed NFL player is simply unacceptable