The Miami Dolphins continue to support offensive tackle Jonathan Martin after reports surfaced that bullying from his teammates led Martin to take a sudden leave of absence, and offensive guard Richie Ingonito may have been directly involved in it, and the team indefinitely suspended him while the NFL investigates the matter.
Martin walked out on the team last Monday and sought mental health counseling, and the NFLPA began reviewing Incognito’s role in that alleged “bullying” of Martin.
NFL.com obtained a statement Thursday night from sports attorney David Cornwell who is serving as counsel for Martin, and this is the first public comments he’s issued on Martin’s situation:
“Jonathan Martin’s toughness is not at issue,” Cornwell said in the statement. “Jonathan has started every game with the Miami Dolphins since he was drafted in 2012. At Stanford, he was the anchor for Jim Harbaugh’s “smash mouth” brand of football and he protected Andrew Luck’s blind side.
“The issue is Jonathan’s treatment by his teammates. Jonathan 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.”
“Quote from teammate: “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***.”
Martin has been absent from the Dolphins since last week after a cafeteria prank. NFL Media’s Steve Wyche reported earlier Thursday that Martin has hired Cornwell to advise him in the Dolphins case involving Richie Incognito.