Martin Fights Back With Statement From Attorney
DAVIE (CBSMiami) – The soap opera that is the Miami Dolphins continued to take more turns late Thursday and into Friday morning.
Thursday night, Dolphins tackle Jonathan Martin’s lawyer, David Cornwell, released a statement that said Martin’s “toughness is not an issue.” Martin has been AWOL from the Dolphins since a lunchroom incident last week and has since claimed that he was hazed and worse.
Martin’s camp has released the transcript of a voice mail from teammate Richie Incognito that contained a racial slur and a perceived threat. However, a report Thursday morning from SI.com said Martin was sharing the voicemail with teammate and laughing about it.
Cornwell’s statement said that Martin, “endured harassment that went far beyond the traditional locker room hazing.”
“For the entire season-and-a-half that he was with the Dolphins, he attempted to befriend the same teammates who subjected him to the abuse with the hope that doing so would end the harassment. This is a textbook reaction of victims of bullying. Despite these efforts, the taunting continued. Beyond the well-publicized voice mail with its racial epithet, Jonathan endured a malicious physical attack on him by a teammate, and daily vulgar comments such as the quote at the bottom. These facts are not in dispute.
Eventually, Jonathan made a difficult choice. Despite his love for football, Jonathan left the Dolphins. Jonathan looks forward to getting back to playing football. In the meantime, he will cooperate fully with the NFL investigation.”
Cornwell then disclosed a quote from an unnamed teammate of Martin’s that read, “We are going to run train on your sister….She loves me. I am going to f*** her without a condom and c** in her c***.”
Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin said earlier this week that he talked to Martin last week, but it’s unclear if the two have spoken since Sunday when Incognito was suspended.
ESPN issued a report by Mark Schwarz late Thursday that said Martin’s agent, Rick Smith, had indicated that the offensive tackle had “issues with multiple players on the team, not just suspended guard Richie Incognito.”
Smith took to Twitter to defend himself and deny talking to Schwarz. “I have no independent knowledge of anything Mark Schwartz from ESPN attributed to myself. I’ve never heard of the guy until today,” Smith tweeted.
Martin and his camp have turned over evidence, including voice mails and text messages, they claim back up his case of harassment against Incognito to the Dolphins, the NFL, and the NFL Players Association.
The NFL chose attorney Ted Wells to conduct an independent investigation into the Martin/Incognito mess and report back to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. The final report issued to Goodell will be made public, according to the NFL.
The NFLPA, led by DeMaurice Smith, has been trying to set up a meeting between the agents for Martin and Incognito, but that was before Thursday’s statement from Martin’s attorney that detailed more alleged harassment.
As all of this has been going on, players in the locker room have been siding, at least initially, with Incognito. The players defending Incognito continued to defend him even after the transcript of a voicemail was released that contained Incognito calling Martin a “half-(n-word) piece of s***.”
Several have said they never saw any of this coming, and others have said Martin and Incognito almost acted like brothers.
“Richie said, ‘Jonathan is like my little brother,'” Tannehill said of a past conversation. “I think that’s an accurate depiction. He gave him a hard time. He messed with him. But he was the first one there to have his back in any situation.”
In addition to Thursday’s statement from Martin’s attorney, ProFootballTalk.com reported that Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland told Martin’s people that if he had a problem with what Incognito was saying or doing, he should just punch him to resolve the problem.
Ireland was reportedly contacted by Martin’s people after the offensive left the team on October 28.
The Dolphins, as an organization, have remained quiet throughout the entire mess and have only issued statements a few times on the scandal. Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin’s press conferences have been cut shorter in recent days and he’s now avoiding answering any questions surrounding the Incognito/Martin scandal.
Incognito, according to a Fox Sports report from Alex Marvez, is preparing to file a grievance over the Dolphins suspending him for four games for conduct detrimental to the team. The suspension will end up costing the Dolphins guard roughly $1 million in lost salary if it’s upheld.