Rather than get personal, let's keep things professional, because that's how the NFL likes to portray itself, as a respected business, the IBM of sports. So instead of focusing on the employees who make news in a dysfunctional locker room - specifically Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin of the Miami Dolphins - let's concentrate on the corporation.

Rather than get personal, let’s keep things professional, because that’s how the NFL likes to portray itself, as a respected business, the IBM of sports.

So instead of focusing on the employees who make news in a dysfunctional locker room — specifically Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin of the Miami Dolphins — let’s concentrate on the corporation.

Every profit-seeking organization has its loose cannons, passive-aggressive managers, bullies, backstabbers and tattletales. Nothing new there. It’s how the business handles unprofessional behavior that matters. And that’s where things get messy for the NFL, which is looking more like a backroom fight club than a Fortune 500 company.

Hey, NFL, you want to act like a 1980s college fraternity that accepts hazing as part of the culture? Even frats now see such behavior as counterproductive, but if that’s how you want to run your business, just don’t insist you deserve the same professional standing as Procter & Gamble.

If you’re going to call yourself a business, act like one. To allow serious hazing — I’m not talking about rookies being forced to buy doughnuts for veterans, although even that would not be tolerated in most workplaces — is to forfeit the right to be taken seriously.

The same goes for players who insist on being treated as adults but act like adolescents. How many times do we hear NFL veterans complain that a coach treats them like children?

I’m a man, they love to remind us.

So act like one. Giving a rookie an ugly haircut is no way to prove your maturity. And that’s the tame stuff. Verbal abuse? Physical threats? Yeah, real grown-up.

The NFL’s argument, at least among players, is that such “good-natured fun” builds camaraderie. Really?

I have experience with hazing in college athletics, having been on the freshman end of a senior’s need to overcome his insecurity through intimidation. Better team chemistry? Not exactly. It resulted in loss of respect for the upperclassman, by me and my underclassmen teammates.

Finally, I stood up to the dope — with words, not fists — but that only emboldened him. So much for the idea of disarming a bully by confronting him. Sounds good, but it doesn’t always work that way. Pop a 250-pound fool in the face, and be prepared to receive the worst of it.

Eventually, the senior got bored and stopped pestering. No psychological scars here. Most disappointing was that it happened on a team. The goal of any team, as well as any legitimate business, is to succeed, which makes the Dolphins players’ defense of Incognito all the more farcical .

It also is what drives Chris Spielman crazy.

I contacted Spielman, the former NFL and Ohio State linebacker, because he understands the macho warrior mentality associated with the NFL. His on-field persona fit the stereotype of a testosterone-fueled attack dog. No wussification of the male species with Spiels.

But one thing Spielman strived for, even more than hitting and tackling, was winning, which is why he found himself seething on Monday about the situation in which Incognito is being accused of having bullied Martin into leaving the Dolphins.

“The thing that bothers me the most is there has to be someone, a leader on that team, who has enough common sense to say, ‘Enough is enough; you’re hurting the fiber of the team and you’re not accomplishing anything,’?” Spielman said.

Forget whether Martin was timid or sheltered or afraid to stand up to Incognito. Bottom line: He helped the business, starting every game at offensive tackle since he was drafted in 2012.

It is against that backdrop of he makes us better that Spielman takes issue with the idea that Martin’s mild demeanor hurt the team.

“The ultimate team guy is the ultimate warrior,” Spielman said, “so I don’t want to hear that (NFL locker-room) culture crap. That’s an excuse. I don’t want to sound like a goody-two-shoes, but I can’t believe none of the players stepped in to say, ‘Hey, we’re losing two offensive linemen, and one guy is an idiot fool and driving the other guy to mental problems.’?”

Spielman directs most of his wrath at the non-locker room side of things, at the Dolphins’ coaches and front office who failed to see the big picture — that bullying, hazing and player-to-player dissension is bad for business.

“I am begging the NFL to please ban all rookie hazing, anything physical, and that’s as (politically correct) as I’m ever going to get,” he said.

Get your house in order, NFL. Operate like the respectable corporation you claim to be. Or own up to being Animal House. You can’t be both.

Rob Oller is a sports reporter for The Dispatch.