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Why Has Football Become So Brutish?

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Why Has Football Become So Brutish?

Why Has Football Become So Brutish?

Why Has Football Become So Brutish?

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/244812115/244948115" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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Miami Dolphins guard Richie Incognito (left) and tackle Jonathan Martin stand on the field during practice in Davie, Fla. Martin left the NFL after he faced harassment from Incognito that his lawyer said went "beyond locker-room hazing." Lynne Sladky/AP hide caption

toggle caption Lynne Sladky/AP

Miami Dolphins guard Richie Incognito (left) and tackle Jonathan Martin stand on the field during practice in Davie, Fla. Martin left the NFL after he faced harassment from Incognito that his lawyer said went "beyond locker-room hazing."

Lynne Sladky/AP

Not surprisingly, in the explosive revelations about the Miami Dolphins team turmoil, most attention has been paid to the fact that, in the midst of a locker room predominately composed of African-American players, a white, Richie Incognito, slurred a black teammate, Jonathan Martin, with the ugliest racial epithet –– and was actually publicly supported by some blacks on the team. Incognito's sadistic employment of the word has not only sickened but also astounded most of us.

However, I would submit that once we accept the inherent racism in this one dismal affair, the greater lasting impression will be to damage the sport of football itself, for the broader implications illustrate again how brutish our most popular American game has become.

Click on the audio link above to hear Deford's take on this issue.

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