Being part of a team often comes with a sense of welcome and understanding that there are other people who support you. Many professional athletes feel a strong sense of camaraderie with their teammates, but it is also possible for some tension to arise between players. Discrimination and harassment can take place in any profession, and a Florida football team is no exception.
A lineman for the Miami Dolphins has recently left the team due to facing what he believes was harassment. Sports teams are often known for having raucous attitudes and for occasionally hazing other players in a good-natured manner. However, there is a line that can be crossed when jokes turn into discriminatory and harassing behaviors.
One other teammate in particular has been suspended due to possible involvement in the situation. A voicemail from this player to the former lineman reportedly contained the use of a racial slur, though other teammates claim that the use of this term was not uncommon among the players. Reports suggest that this was not an isolated incident and that such words and other actions compelled the harassed player to leave the team due to the hostile environment.
The possible legal actions that the player could take due to facing discrimination and harassment in the workplace are currently being discussed. There would need to be proof that the actions did escalate into harassment and discriminatory practices, which could possibly be difficult to provide. However, information on Florida laws dealing with discrimination in the workplace and what constitutes as harassment could help the former Dolphin understand what could be considered evidentiary support should he choose to pursue a case.
Source: oregonlive.com, Richie Incognito bullying: Jonathan Martin could sue Dolphins under workplace laws, experts say, No author, Nov. 14, 2013