Dolphins Stephen Ross calls “bully-gate” racist based


Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross continued his habit of opening up about things that are better left dead. On Monday Ross said that the “bully-gate” scandal was race related.

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The PalmBeachPost has been on top of the Palm Beach Civil Association speaking engagement from Monday. Yesterday they reported that Ross spoke of Adam Gase as a “generational” head coach before giving him three years to make the playoffs. Through team associates, Ross’ comments were said to be an NFL generality rather than a direct finger point at his new head coach.

Today it’s being reported that Ross also said the “bully-gate” incident was, at it’s core, race related.

"“This bullying incident was really a product of racism,” Ross said. The embarrassing episode led Ross to become active in the Jackie Robinson Foundation and to launch The Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality, or RISE.” Via the PalmBeachPost."

It’s a small blurb in the article but many have taken note of the comment. The question many are asking is who was the racist and why was this racist based? The obvious first thought is that the comment could be indirectly pointed at former Dolphins guard Richie Incognito. Incognito turned over his cell phone for the league investigation and repeatedly used the “N” word towards Jonathan Martin.

Incognito maintained throughout the investigation and afterwards that he was not being racist and that he viewed Martin as a brother. The real question was whether or not he crossed that line in using the word. While Incognito bore the brunt of the investigation, he was not the only one involved or accused. Both center Mike Pouncey and former Dolphins guard John Jerry were also pointed at specifically in the allegations. Of course both of them are African-American.

The comments by Ross which could have been and likely were, made in response to a question, the fact that he uses the word “racism” is powerful. That’s not to say that Ross shouldn’t be cognizant of the incident but there was really only one white member of the incidents that led to the Martin saga. In the NFL’s investigation report, it was reported that Incognito also threw racial epitaphs at another member of the training staff who is Asian.

Last season Incognito returned to the NFL after being out of the league for a year and played well for the Bills. In fact he was one of their most productive offensive lineman. Jonathan Martin was traded to the 49’ers and is now out of the league.

Ross has every right to speak his opinion but sometimes he doesn’t really gauge what he says and the rammifications that it might pose. When the league voted to allow the Rams to move to L.A. Ross told media members that “everyone was a winner”. When asked about about the fans in St. Louis, he responded, “Someone had to lose”. In his time as Dolphins owner, he has elluded to Chad Henne as the next Dan Marino and proclaimed Joe Philbin would be the coach in 2015 after an emotional come from behind win against the Vikings in 2014.

Ross want’s nothing more than to see his franchise win a championship and he pays a lot of money to see that happen. The Dolphins are one of the top spending teams in free agency and typically will spend to the cap allowance. Despite a failure to get state funds for the renovations to Sun-Life Stadium, Ross put up the money himself with opportunities to gain some of the money back through the state and city based on major hosting events, including a Super Bowl.

Still when it comes down to it, Ross can ill afford the “egg on the face” comments when his team isn’t winning on the field. While this latest case of waterfall mouth will hardly become national news, it’s just another case of uneeded attention to a franchise that doesn’t really need any right now. Personally, I am a fan of Stephen Ross and I think that he is a good owner but needs to get out of his own way sometimes. Leaving dead issues buried is a good start.