Of the recent acquisition of disgraced OL Richie Incognito, a Buffalo Bills spokesperson promises, “we feel that he has taken the necessary steps to improve as a person and a teammate.” Speaking with the Buffalo News’ Tim Graham, Amanda Nickerson, director of the University at Buffalo’s Alberti Center for Bullying Abuse Prevention replies, “It feels like a slap in the face.”
“It’s a juxtaposition,” Nickerson said, “to have this center and knowing that most of the national attention Buffalo is getting right now is negative in regards to bullying.”
“Can people be redeemed? Should we give second chances?” Nickerson asked. “Absolutely, if we’re talking about a kid or a first offense.
“I’m concerned about it. If it was just Incognito’s issues from 2013, that would be one thing. But there’s been a history of aggressive and violent and demeaning behavior that is hard to ignore.”
Nickerson, who has a Ph.D. in school psychology from the University of South Carolina, noted it would be unfortunate if Incognito declined to participate in the Bills’ anti-bullying campaigns while here.
“If he’s not involved, then it would sound like people are covering for him,” Nickerson said.
“People should hear from him, and not just an empty message. What specifically has he learned from his past? What he done to take steps to change it? If he had treatment or intervention, how did it make him reflect on his behavior?”