Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jason Avant took his typically sure hands on the football field and used them to write for Sports Illustrated about the Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin situation down in Miami.
Avant believes Miami's locker room is not a typical situation but also points out the lack of diversity training in the NFL in general. He stresses the importance of leadership -- pointing towards past greats in Philly like Brian Dawkins, Troy Vincent, and Brian Westbrook -- from players, coaches, and even all the way up to Jeffrey Lurie.
It's a thoughtful take from a guy who has worked many years in the league. His major takeaway:
Right now the NFL has an opportunity. We know this is a league that’s all about making money and all about winning, but here’s a chance for us to demonstrate that we’re more than that. The NFL can be more than just an employer. It can be a parent. With proper structure in place, the NFL can be a support system for someone in the same situation Jonathan Martin was in, and also provide a helping hand to those who hazed him. We can educate young men on the merits of tolerance, and also the value of holding ourselves to higher standards. It can help mold us into productive members of society when we leave this league. Aren’t those the values we want for our kids?
The whole thing is worth a read for an intelligent perspective from a guy you likely know and respect.