NBA

Sources: NBA reminds teams about bullying

11/08 7:38 PM

The NBA's 30 teams received a memo Friday from the league office reminding them that no form of bullying or hazing will be tolerated.

All 30 NBA teams received a memo from the league office Friday reminding them that no form of bullying or hazing will be tolerated, according to league sources.

The memo, sources said, references the Miami Dolphins' ongoing bullying scandal and urges NBA players to report anything if they feel the need while also spelling out specific violations of the league's policies.

Sources said the memo reiterated a number of prohibited behaviors that would violate league policy.

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

Veterans often force NBA rookies to wear kindergarten-style backpacks to games and practices, but that is widely seen as a standard rite of passage and typically is met with little resistance.

Rookies also typically have to carry bags or even bring food in for veteran players on practice days, but sources with multiple teams consulted by ESPN.com this week have said the NBA culture is different than the NFL's when it comes to the behind-the-scenes treatment of young players.

Said one Western Conference team official: "It has really lightened up in recent years."

Added another team official from the West: "I've been around for a while and I've never really heard any crazy stories."

Dolphins right tackle Jonathan Martin left the team last week after claims of harassment and misconduct from teammates.


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