Jonathan Martin, Miami Dolphin Offensive Lineman, told in his NBC interview with Tony Dungy, a former NFL coach, that he wants to return to the NFL after going through tumultuous 2013. In a portion of interview aired on The Today Show Wednesday morning, he also told that the attacks, which he labeled “racial” and “sexual” were not just aimed at him but also at his mother and sister. The full interview is scheduled to air NBCSN’s Pro Football Talk on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. EST.
In October 28, 2013, Martin left the Dolphins, claiming that Richie Incognito, another Offensive Lineman, along with some Dolphins players, abused him verbally and physically. In the interview with Dungy, he added his mother and sister to the list of victims of the alleged bullying happening in the Dolphins’ locker room. On November 3, Incognito was suspended and has not played a game since then.
A report from NFL investigation on the Dolphins’ bullying scandal is highly expected by all. On Tuesday, after introducing Dennis Hickey as general manager for the Dolphins, Stephen Ross, a real estate tycoon and the principal owner of the Miami Dolphins and Sun Life Stadium, confirmed that the report from NFL investigators on Richard Incognito, Jonathan Martin and the Dolphins’ team culture will be released after the Super Bowl on Sunday. Ross stated that he knows the content of the report and his team also knows what to do once the report becomes public. However, according to Ross, Martin may have to find another team to return to if he aims to play in NFL again after tumultuous 2013 stained by the bullying scandal.
When asked whether either Martin or Incognito would return to the Fins, Ross answered that they wouldn’t, although he immediately retracted his answer saying that Incognito is a free agent and that Martin still has a running contract with his team. Nevertheless, it is not difficult to see that Ross does not want him and his team to be associated with any of the 2013’s biggest bullying story. It is also expected that Ross won’t stop at hiring new GM for the team.
In the interview, Martin told Dungy that he had talked to his coaches, especially right above him, about the verbal and physical abuses by Incognito, but that nothing happened. It is speculated by some media that he is referring to Jim Turner, offensive line coach. Back in November after the whole scandal erupted, Turner told reporters in locker room that the whole story is “overblown.” Although Turner for now remains a coaching member of the Dolphins, Ross and his team have not confirmed that he will coach the Dolphins in 2014.
Dungy told Carson Daly on The Today Show Wednesday that he had talked with three NFL general managers who believe that Jonathan Martin is a competent player but are afraid of negative impact of his bullying controversy on teams and players. Dungy, well-respected figure in NFL, has high praise for Martin, calling him “intelligent” and “passionate.” In addition, he indirectly defended Martin’s decision to go public with bullying culture in NFL by stating that he saw some of text messages and heard voicemails and that those were very abusive. Martin’s aim to return to NFL may become reality sooner than later after tumultuous 2013.
By Jonathan JY Jung
The Nipawin Journal