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Morning Java: Bullying vs. beating

By Dejan Kovacevic | Trib Total Media

Morning, Lunatics …

>> The more the Jonathan Martin bullying story continues to unfold in Miami, each new report sheds a harsh new light on the Dolphins’ locker room and Richie Incognito in particular. Let’s hope that the light continues to be harsh, in Miami and everywhere on this vital topic.

It took a while, and it took a strong prod from the NFL, but kudos to the Dolphins for their suspension of Incognito, as well as making known that he’ll never play in Miami again.

You’ll note what I said there:

1. A prod from the NFL.

2. Kudos to the Dolphins.

So distinguish for me please, the difference between those two simple steps and how the NHL and the Avalanche are doing nothing about Semyon Varlamov after he’s been accused — publicly, powerfully and through a report filed by the Denver Police — of beating and kicking his girlfriend and laughing about it.

Spare me the innocent-until-proven guilty stuff. You and I aren’t the court system. The league and the team aren’t the court system, either. They’re private companies, private employers. They can do as they wish in this regard. They have the right to protect their brand from even a perception that tarnishes them.

That’s the law.

The NHL is blessed to have a large portion of its fan base being female. Certainly in our market, they stand out as compared to any of our teams. And what the league is saying here is that it would rather stand by Varlamov than by those fans or by anyone with the decency to be aghast at the things described in the police report.

I wrote this in the Saturday column, but Roger Goodell uses his power, and Gary Bettman is terrified of it.

Here’s a dissenting view on Varlamov from my friend Adrian Dater of the Denver Post.

And here’s the panel of WPXI-TV’s The Final Word discussing the NHL’s image …

>> Mark Kaboly’s weekly Steelers Film Session is not for the faint of heart.

Neither is the opening segment of his weekly TribLIVE Radio show, featuring a brutally honest Charlie Batch.

The rapid plunge. Beat writer Alan Robinson examines.

Here’s our full Steelers coverage, including deserved

Here’s Bills news from the Buffalo News.

Here are official game highlights from

>> Deryk Engelland, right winger at largeJosh Yohe has it.

Here’s our full Penguins coverage, including upbeat news on Beau Bennett.

Here’s Rangers news from the New York Post.

Here are official game highlights from

>> The Pirates extend no qualifying offers, by Rob Biertempfel. Nothing in this news should surprise anyone. These types of offers are rare.

Here’s our full Pirates coverage, including honors for Francisco Liriano and Andrew McCutchen.

>> Reeling Pitt must rev it back up for Notre Dame, by Jerry DiPaola.

>> On the hoops side, the Pete is sold out a 12th consecutive year. That’s something worth remembering when you see a lot of empty seats in the Panthers’ non-conference schedule. The money’s been banked.

Also, Talib Zanna will be the new center of attention. Beat man Kevin Gorman writes.

>> I’m off today, back at it with the radio show and Steelers coverage tomorrow.

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Author: Dejan Kovacevic

Dejan Kovacevic, a lifelong Pittsburgher, is an award-winning sports columnist for Trib Total Media covering the Steelers, Penguins, Pirates, Pitt and, recently, his fourth Olympics in Sochi, Russia. He also appears on WPXI-TV's 'Subway Final Word’ and hosts a weekly show on TribLIVE Radio. For 2011, he was named one of the country's top four columnists by the AP Sports Editors. For 2012, he was named one of the country's top three columnists by the National Headliners. For 2013, he was named the state's top columnist by the Keystone Press Awards and top columnist in Western Pennsylvania by the Golden Quills.

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