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The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Crossing the Line

Its all fun and games until somebody gets hurt.

Much too often, things are taken too far in the world of sports. And people get hurt. Seriously hurt.

The latest such case is with the Miami Dolphins, where offensive tackle Jonathan Martin left the team after claims of bullying from fellow lineman Richie Incognito.

Now, I’m not writing this to point fingers or look at facts of this case. My opinion on these specific circumstances are irrelevant. What is relevant, however, is that bullying is a real issue in sports, and it happens more than we know.

Where is the line drawn? When do things go from playful nudging to hurtful lashes? There doesn’t seem to be solid distinction between the two and its often after the fact in which people realize they have gone too far.

Personally, I have experienced bullying in sports. I won’t go into detail, but I know how hard it is being outcast and insulted when playing the sport you love.

It sucks. It downright sucks. You become discouraged by every mistake you make, and feel as if you can’t compete at the level of others around you. You start to believe what the bullies are saying.

In the victim’s case, you have a tough decision to make. For Martin, his choosing to stay quiet brought mixed reactions. On one hand, he has been criticized by his peers, his own teammates even, for not “being a man” and speaking out when he felt something had been going wrong.

But on the other hand, if he had spoken out, and if by some chance violence ensued, he would be left with even more serious consequences.

It seems like there is no good way out when being bullied. As hard as it is, victims should keep a hard shell and not let the slurs and antics get to them. Bullies are only doing this because they don’t feel confident in themselves. Or, in the case of sports, they are feeling threatened by the success of others.

And if you happen to be one of those sports bullies out there, I have nothing to say to you. Nothing I can print, anyway.

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