Dolphins, NFL to review of Martin’s allegations
FILE - In this Oct. 27, 2013 file photo, Miami Dolphins tackle Jonathan Martin sits on the bench in the first quarter of an NFL football game against the New England Patriots, in Foxborough, Mass. A person familiar with the situation said Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013, that Martin has left the team to receive professional assistance for emotional issues. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the Dolphins have not announced any details of Martin's illness. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer, File))
The Miami Dolphins and the NFL are investigating allegations of player misconduct made yesterday by representatives of Jonathan Martin, the second-year lineman who has left the team to receive help for emotional issues.
The announcement by the Dolphins came yesterday afternoon, only a few hours after the team said Martin had not complained to the organization about bullying by other players. It was part of a busy day off for the team, one that included the posting of several tweets by offensive lineman Richie Incognito, who said he wants his name cleared after reports linked him to the Martin matter.
“We received notification today from Jonathan’s representation about allegations of player misconduct,” the Dolphins’ statement read. “We are taking these allegations very seriously and plan to review the matter further. We have also reached out to the NFL and asked them to conduct an objective and thorough review. As an organization, we are committed to a culture of team-first accountability and respect for one another.”
Martin left the Dolphins on Oct. 28, raising questions about the role harassment from teammates played in his sudden departure. It’s unclear whether or when he’s expected back.
His agent, Kenneth Zuckerman, declined to comment yesterday. The Dolphins resume practice today after three days off.
Martin’s departure came on the heels of a four-game losing streak. The resulting rumblings of locker-room dissension included reports of complaints by young players that they’re being pressured to pay more than their share when members of the team go out on the town or vacation together.
Some rookie hazing has long been part of the NFL, however.
“Everything tastes better when rookies pay for it,” veteran Miami defensive lineman Jared Odrick tweeted Friday.
The Dolphins (4-4), who beat Cincinnati on Thursday, next play at Tampa Bay on Nov. 11.
The Dolphins have attributed Martin’s absence to an illness not tied to football. Yesterday they said the team, “including coach Joe Philbin and Jonathan’s teammates, have been in communication with Jonathan and his family since his departure from the club, and continue to be in contact. Our primary concern for Jonathan is his overall health and well-being.”
On Saturday, a person familiar with the situation told the Associated Press the NFL Players Association planned to look into the matter in the coming week.
Martin played in Miami’s loss at New England on Oct. 27 and was at the Dolphins’ complex the next day before leaving the team. He missed the victory over Cincinnati.