Our lives should not be ruled by fear. We should be smart in choosing our friends and not have to worry about being physically or emotionally harmed. We only live once, and it should be a goal of ours to make the most out of this wonderful opportunity.

Fear should not constitute any part of our lives. If fear dominates anyone’s life, that person needs to seek help. If a so-called ‘friend’ is an imposing figure in someone’s life, that can only mean trouble.

Recently in the NFL, two players have been the subject of bullying. One player, Richie Incognito of the Miami Dolphins, was convicted of harassing his teammate, Jonathon Martin. Incognito left the following voicemail on Martin’s cell phone a few weeks ago, which Adam Schefter of ESPN helped discover:

“Hey, wassup, you half n—– piece of [expletive] . . . I saw you on Twitter, you been training ten weeks. [I want to] [expletive] in your [expletive] mouth. [I’m going to] slap your [expletive] mouth. [I’m going to] slap your real mother across the face (laughter). [Expletive] you, you’re still a rookie. I’ll kill you,” Incognito said.

Martin was understandably in fear of his life and left the Dolphins. The Stanford product wanted no part of Incognito.

I can’t blame him for taking action. If I were in Martin’s place, I would be scared out of my mind. Not only did Incognito insult Martin’s race, but he also threatened his life.

What a piece of scum.

Several days after Incognito left the voicemail, he was suspended indefinitely from the Dolphins organization. Although he is making the argument that he is not a racist and did not mean harm to Martin, I don’t buy that nonsense.

Not for one second.

If Incognito wasn’t a bigot, then he wouldn’t have left the voicemail in the first place. As a society, I had hoped we have moved away from these unacceptable acts of racism. We don’t live in the 1960s anymore.

I understand that life in the NFL is not easy, but bullying should not be tolerated. Martin was already having a tough enough time making a name for himself on the field after being chosen in the second round of the 2012 NFL Draft.

Incognito shouldn’t have left this voicemail in the first place, but what’s been done is done. I am content in the fact that the NFL is taking into consideration Incognito’s intolerable actions. Even if it was intended as a joke among ‘friends,’ it doesn’t matter.

Words can hurt.

Even though students at Pacific Lutheran University don’t participate in the NFL, they need to be cautious in how they approach certain situations. If bullying is taking place, stop it.

There is no place for it in our society. It certainly doesn’t benefit anyone, even the bully.

I encourage everyone to live their lives to the fullest — make peace, not war. If you are having trouble being a reasonable person, listen to some Bob Marley. You can thank me later. ◼︎

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