Earlier this week, Miami Dolphins guard Richie Incognito filed a grievance against the team for suspending him "indefinitely" over the allegations of player misconduct coming from tackle Jonathan Martin. According to Martin, Incognito, and possibly other Dolphins players, bullied and harassed the second-yard offensive lineman over the season-and-a-half he was with the team. Incognito maintains that the two were friends, and that Martin never said any of the teasing or practical jokes bothered him.
NFL.com's Albert Breer had a chance to read the four-page grievance filed by Incognito, laying out exactly how Incognito is attacking the allegation from Martin, and the strategy which the tackle and his lawyer, David Cornwell, is using. The grievance introduction states, "If any conduct has been detrimental to the team, it is the manner in which Mr. Martin's representatives, including Mr. Cornwell on behalf of his client, have elected to vilify Mr. Incognito and the entire Dolphins organization in the court of public opinion."
Incognito's grievance also states that the Dolphins "failed to properly advise or warn Mr. Incognito that joking behavior amongst teammates or the use of vulgar or profane language amongst teammates, whether in-season or during the offseason, could subject him to disciplinary action."
It continues, saying, "the only detriment to the club arising out of this incident is the harm resulting from the media strategy employed by Mr. Cornwell and Mr. Martin's other representatives. ... Had Mr. Martin and Mr. Cornwell approached this complaint as a professional employment complaint rather than a media blitz, the club could have carried out an orderly, impartial investigation and determined that Mr. Martin's mental health issues are unrelated to Mr. Incognito or any other member of the Dolphins organization."
The Dolphins, under the collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and the NFL Players Association, can only suspend Incognito for four games, despite the "indefinite" tag on the action, as well as fine him a fifth game check.
Martin met with independent investigator Ted Wells for seven hours on Friday, interestingly without any NFLPA representation. Incognito has requested an expedited hearing on the grievance, which is, according to Breer, scheduled for Thursday.
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