Yesterday, news broke that former NFL head coach Tony Dungy had aranged an interview with Miami Dolphins tackle Jonathan Martin, who left the team October 28 and alledged player misconduct and bullying within the team's locker room. The first snippet of that interview aired last night on NBC, with a second teaser airing this morning.
This morning, more of Martin's comments have surfaced.
"There was persistent comments of a racial nature, aggressive sexual comments related to my sister and my mother," Martin explained during a portion that aired this morning on TODAY. "I’ve spoken to my former teammates in other locker rooms across the NFL and I asked them, does this stuff go on? Is this normal rooking hazing? The consensus was, this is not normal."
Martin went on to explain that he did not take issue with the normal rookie hazing, but felt that some member of the team crossed the line when it came to him, and that the hazing did not stop as the tackle moved into his second year in the league. "I have no problem with the normal hazing that you see in the NFL," he told Dungy. "'Get a haircut,' stuff like that, little pranks. The personal attacking nature, I don’t think there’s any place for that."
The NFL launched an investigation at the request of Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, looking into the allegations raised by Martin, as well as the role of Dolphins players, coaches, and front office. The results of that investigation, conducted by attorney Ted Wells, are expected to be released after this weekend's Super Bowl.
Martin told Dungy that he did approach Dolphins position coaches, but never head coach Joe Philbin, about the situation, but never went into specifics because he didn't want to "snitch" on his teammates. Philbin has said that, even after Martin left the team and the two met, Martin never told him of any of the misconduct which he is alledging.
Martin went on to explain that it was more than just guard Richie Incognito - who was suspended the last eight weeks of the season over this situation - who were involved. Martin also said he was not the only target of the misconduct. “There were other people that got it, too,” Martin said. “I can’t say why I may have gotten more.”
Dungy appeared on TODAY and discussed the interview, including Martin's desire to return to the NFL. Dungy said he has spoken with three NFL GMs, all of whom have stated that Martin is a good player who will get a chance to play again, but that they are worried about the scrutiny that would come with signing him. Martin is still under contract with the Dolphins for two more years, though the team is expected to try to trade him this offseason, or release him if they cannot get anything in return.
Dungy also explained that he feels what happened to Martin went beyond the standard locker room culture. "Jonathan is very much like a lot of players that I coached. He’s intelligent, he’s passionate. I didn’t see him as any different. The thing that maybe didn’t come across in this was just how personal this was for him. I listened to some of the voicemails and saw the text messages, and it was, as he said, racial, personal, attacking his family. It was a tough, tough situation. I couldn’t picture anything like this going on in the locker rooms that I was involved in."
The full interview is set to air tonight at 6:30pm ET on NBC Sports Network.
- Super Bowl 2014: Four former Dolphins still alive in the 2014 Playoffs
- Jonathan Martin interviewed by Tony Dungy on Dolphins bullying scandal
- Which Miami Dolphins player do you want to stay forever?
- 2014 Super Bowl XLVIII: Guide to the storylines you will hear way too much
- 2014 NFL Mock Draft: SB Nation Studios analyzes Mocking the Draft's latest projection