An ugly situation has surfaced with the NFL’s Miami Dolphins regarding teammates bullying one another, and the NBA wants to make sure that nothing similar happens in their team locker rooms.
It historically hasn’t been much of an issue at all, and rookie hazing in professional basketball has traditionally been limited to carrying bags of veterans, retrieving meals for them, and perhaps wearing backpacks during training camp more appropriate for pre-teen girls than for post-college aged young men.
The league wants to make sure that anything like this stays in the area of completely harmless, so it sent out a note to all 30 teams reminding them of what won’t be tolerated.
From Marc Stein of ESPN.com:
The lengthy list of violations, sources said, includes: any physical abuse or threats of violence; verbal abuse focused on an individual’s race, nationality, color, gender, age, religion, sexuality, etc.; destruction, defacement or theft of a fellow player’s personal property; engaging in any activity that intimidates or threatens fellow players with ostracism or inflicts extreme mental stress, embarrassment, humiliation or shame; and forcing an individual to engage in any activity or perform any task that violates federal, state or local law or NBA rules and regulations.
Also prohibited, sources said, is requiring an individual to unreasonably pay for meals, travel, entertainment expenses, goods or services that are being solely enjoyed by others as well as imposing physical activities on a fellow player — such as exposure to weather, confinement in a restricted area, or consumption of food, liquid or substance — that leads to unreasonable risk for the individual or adversely affects their mental or physical health or safety. …
Added another team official from the West: “I’ve been around for a while and I’ve never really heard any crazy stories.”
The culture in the NBA is very different than that of the NFL, and there really doesn’t appear to be any issue here at all.
The league wants to make sure it stays that way, so the memo was probably a smart idea in light of recent events elsewhere.
[Image credit: @landryfields via Raptors.com]