Over the past several weeks, Miami Dolphins offensive lineman Richie incognito has been the center of attention in the NFL. Incognito allegedly bullied and verbally abused fellow lineman and teammate Jonathan Martin for months, leading to Martin's departure from the team. This case has led the NFL, NBA and MLB to publicly address their policies on bullying and hazing in the locker room. The Minnesota Timberwolves are already feeling the heat.
A common NBA hazing tradition is to make rookie players and new additions carry their luggage in childish backpacks or suitcases. According to Timberwolves Shabazz Muhammed, that won't be happening anymore in the Minnesota locker room.
"They actually said they don't want us carrying them, but I understand with the stuff going on with the football thing," said Muhammad, who entered the draft after one season at UCLA. "They want to be separate from that. . . . Now I think rookie hazing won't exist anymore."
With the NBA recently sending out a memo regarding bullying and the Incognito/Martin case still causing a stir, it is likely many professional teams will tone down on the hazing for the time being. The league did not comment on or make any allegation against the Timberwolves for the previous backpack stunts.