More and more NFL players are sharing their opinion of the Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin situation. Former tight end Cam Cleeland played with the St. Louis Rams when they drafted Incognito and shed light on his experiences with him.
“I’m not afraid to say that he was an immature, unrealistic scumbag,” Cleeland said. “When it came down to it, he had no personality, he was a locker-room cancer, and he just wanted to fight everybody all the time. It was bizarre beyond belief.”
He is one of the players who is defending Martin.
“Any NFL player that gives Martin a hard time — I don’t know him — but any guy who says, ‘This guy should have been a tough guy, should have stood up to him,’ it’s BS,” Cleeland said. “I don’t care if you’re a good guy or not, you don’t deserve that kind of treatment in any workplace. You’ve got to be tough. We’re all tough guys. But in the end, you’re still a human being.”
Cleeland was also the victim of an excessive hazing ritual. While running the gauntlet during his rookie training camp, where players kick and punch you, he was hit in the face with a sock full of coins by linebacker Andre Royal. That blow crushed his eye socket and nearly cost him his eye. He got the same toughen up and fight back speech.
“Coach [Mike] Ditka gave me a speech as soon as it was done,” Cleeland told Sam Farmer of the Los Angeles Times. “He was like, ‘Oh, man, you should have just popped those guys in the mouth.’ I said, ‘Coach, there were 60 of them.’”