Shannon Sharpe: Allowing Incognito to use racial slurs is encouragement

By Eric Kay | CBSSports.com Staff

There's no story dominating the sports conversation at the moment more so than the Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin bullying case.

At the center of it is Incognito's (white) use of language, and specifically racial slurs directed at Martin (bi-racial).

Some have come to Incognito's defense, claiming that the offensive lineman was permitted to use this sort of language, that he was an "honorary black."

Shannon Sharpe disagrees. Here are some of the more powerful quotes from his passionate take on the subject matter in the video above.

On the locker room culture:

"If you allow Richie Incognito to walk around and use a racial epithet, that all black Americans know the stigma and hate and vitriol that comes with that word -- if you allow him to do that, you're encouraging him to do that."

On being an honorary black:

"Some black players said Incognito was an honorary black. There's no such thing. This tells me everything I need to know about the Miami Dolphins locker room. How we got here. Why we got here."

On the meaning of the N-word:

"I'm 45, I grew up in rural south Georgia. Ask your parents, ask your grandparents. The mountain that they climbed so a black person in America can have respect, can have dignity. And you allow this, in an open locker room to take place, is unacceptable. I'm so disappointed. I hope that someone was misquoted. I hope I'm wrong and they didn't allow Incognito to say this racially charged word in a locker room and go unchecked. I'm embarrassed."

It's unlike most of what I've seen this season on NFL pregame shows, and a good launchpad for a thoughtful discussion on the topic.

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