Ex-NFL Bully Says Hazing Rookies Needs to Stop

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Hazing of NFL Rookies Become Threatening, Ex-Player Says

"I think the line of demarcation has to be this calendar year. When you have the N-word being communicated in public by one player to another player within the fraternity of the NFL, and it was in the Incognito voicemail, and the big thing was ending it with 'I'll kill you,' in the same calendar year where we have Aaron Hernandez indicted for murdering a semi-pro football player. The term of the threat has changed drastically."

Dave Pear, a former NFL player who played in the 1970s and 80s, said that hazing has become much more intense today than it ever was when he was playing for the Colts, Buccaneers, or Raiders.

"Back when I played, which was in the 70s, rookies did things like maybe have to sing at meals or do menial type jobs for veteran players, but it was all in good fun, and there was a lot of laughing," Pear said. "Rookies never had to take the veterans out and buy them expensive meals. It sounds like this is bullying."

"It hurts the team more than it helps. You want to bring people together not divide them. It sounds like it was something that needs to be dealt with," he said. "That's not professional. This is supposed to be professional football."

Both Pear and Wiley said that the NFL needed to address the intense hazing of young players.

"People think of abuse in physical terms, but what about emotional content? It took tremendous courage for Jonathan Martin to step out," Wiley said. "It's time for all of us to step up to the microphone and address this honestly, forthrightly, and move forward."

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