The Miami Dolphins team has been in turmoil for the past two weeks since second-year lineman Jonathan Martin left the team seeking mental and emotional help. He is claiming to have been bullied by fellow teammate and veteran offensive lineman Richie Incognito.
Since the accusation, information has surfaced staining Incognito’s reputation. He has been accused of having a history of bullying, targeting rookies, and making racial slurs directly toward Martin.
Incognito was unhappy with the allegations. He finally spoke nationally on the issue on Nov. 10, 2013 in an interview with FOXSports’ Jay Glazer. He said, “the two of them were friends, the type of friends that often used outrageous language with each other in a joking manner and Martin had joked with him in the same manner before.” Incognito said, “he was embarrassed by his words and actions but did not defend his racial slur because that type of language is common in the Dolphins locker room.” Incognito went on to say his, “actions were coming from a place of love and that is the way their team communicates.” If Martin were to go to Incognito and tell him his feelings were hurt, Incognito said, “he would apologize to him and his family.”
Through this ordeal, Miami Dolphin players, and players around the league, have seemed to back up Incognito rather than Martin. Some feel as though Martin should have dealt with the situation in the locker room rather than making the issue public. Many dolphins have said that it is the culture of their locker room, that they joke around with each other, and that one can’t have thin skin.
Incognito was suspended indefinitely from the Dolphins team after the accusations even though there is still much speculation as to what really was going on behinds closed doors of the locker room. The Dolphins organization made a statement supporting their decision and said, “We believe in maintaining a culture of respect for one another and as a result we believe this decision is in the best interest of the organization at this time.”
Jonathon Martin spoke publicly about the issue for seven hours this past Friday with Ted Wells, the NFL’s independent investigator, at a midtown Manhattan law firm Friday evening. He insisted that he looked forward to resuming his career in the NFL, though he did not specify whether or not he plans on rejoining the Dolphins, as reported by New York Daily News.
Martin read from a previously prepared statement while he stood next to his lawyer, David Cornwell. New York Daily News reported that he had cooperated with the ongoing review of the alleged harassment he had endured from teammates during the last 18 months in the Miami locker room.
“Although I went into great detail with Mr. Wells and his team, I do not intend to discuss this matter publicly at this time,” Martin said.
After Martin’s meeting on Friday, Miami Dolphins coach, Joe Philbin, who has been supported by ownership since the allegations were first leveled, did not go into detail with reporters.
“I believe in the guys we have in the locker room,” he said. “I believed in them before this all took place, before all this scrutiny came upon us. And I believe in them today.”
Check back for further updates as the Miami Dolphins alleged bullying scandal is further investigated.