The Miami Dolphins have been in prime damage-control mode in the two weeks since a review determined their locker room was a hellish cross between Abu Ghraib and the Alpha Beta frat house from Revenge of the Nerds. Bully-in-chief Richie Incognito is long gone, head coach Joe Philbin took his lumps at a press conference and last week they fired a coach and trainer tied to abusing Jonathan Martin.
Now the team is taking their apology tour to Tallahassee, where the Fins are supporting a bill that would crack down on bullying in amateur and college sports.
The bill grew out of a study that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross commissioned from his alma mater, New York University, into how to discourage bullying in locker rooms.
HB 1117, called the "Safe Athletics Training and Education Act of 2014," would add new rules for both high school and college athletes. The Florida High School Athletics Association would be forced to adopt new standards against bullying, while the law would also prohibit bullying at collegiate games and require college athletes to sign a pledge promising not to pull an Incognito in their locker rooms.
The new regulations would also punish professional teams that "fail to take reasonable measures to prevent abusive conduct."
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The bill was introduced yesterday by Rep. Rich Workman, a Republican from Melbourne, and Rep. Oscar Branyon, a Democrat from the Dolphins' home turf in Miami Gardens.
Ross promised to help push the bill through Florida's House.
"We're trying to provide some potential solutions," the owner tells the Florida Current. "We hope to make it much more of a national effort."