MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Miami Dolphins offensive lineman Jonathan Martin broke his silence about the alleged harassment he received from teammates, but there’s also an unresolved issue based on the story he told to former NFL coach Tony Dungy, now an analyst for NBC.
Martin alleged racial, aggressive, and personal attacks were made towards him by teammates, including Richie Incognito. Martin left the team in October and when asked by Dungy if he had spoken with anyone from the team since leaving, he answered, “No.”
But, reports from the beginning of November had at least head coach Joe Philbin talking with the then-AWOL offensive lineman.
- “Philbin said Martin left the facility after an incident in the lunchroom and that the head coach met with Martin last week. Philbin said he was in contact with Martin and members of his family throughout last week and into the weekend.” (CBSMiami.com, November 4, 2013)
- “Dolphins coach Joe Philbin visited Martin at the hospital, and the organization arranged for his parents to travel to South Florida.” (ESPN, November 8, 2013)
- A few days later, owner Stephen Ross talked to the press about the situation and indicated that he had reached out to Martin personally. “I have reached out to Jonathan Martin, I have texted him, we have communicated via text, and I plan to meet with him in person very shortly.” (CBSMiami.com, November 11, 2013)
In the excerpts of his interview with Dungy, Martin said he never spoke of the situation with head coach Joe Philbin about the problems he was having with the team. He said that he did mention that he was having problems saying, “Members of the organization knew that I was struggling.” When asked by Dungy, who did he talk to about the problems, Martin responded:
“I had some conversations with the coaches immediately above me,” Martin said. “I didn’t get into specifics. You’re not supposed to “snitch” on your teammates. I didn’t see it as my place to go above the heads of the leaders on the offensive line and talk to my coaches about my teammates.”
Martin was in his second year with the team when he chose to leave in the middle of the season. Dungy asked Martin if the problems could be blamed solely on former Miami Dolphins guard Richie Incognito? Martin said it was bigger than just his former teammate along the offensive line.
“It was more than one (who harassed him). I think it was the culture,” Martin told NBC.
Owner Stephen Ross was asked by CBS4 if Martin and Incognito would return next year and he said, “No,” before quickly retracting that and saying that he was still on the roster.
The Dolphins reportedly hope to trade Martin during the offseason, but now that word is out the Fins are likely to part ways with Martin anyway; it may be difficult for the team to get any value out of Martin in a trade.