Thursday, November 7, 2013

Confronting Locker Room Bullying with Physical Violence

An interesting development in Incognito-gate yesterday, with stories that Miami Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland told Jonathan Martin's agent that Martin should punch his tormentor in the face.

One downside of punching someone in the head, of course, is that one has committed a tort: battery.  Can a person use force to defend themselves from bullying?  In my article Defense Against Outrage, I explore this very question.  I ask whether, if the bully's conduct rises to the level of extreme or outrageous conduct, a person can use physical force in "self-defense" against the emotional damage bullying can do.

Some have argued that Richie Incognito's bullying, pervasive and offensive, would rise to the level of IIED.  Would that have created a privilege to use physical violence in self-defense?