First the news, although in this case there is precious little: In his interview with NBC, Dolphins offensive tackle Jonathan Martin claims when he became uncomfortable with what appears to be verbal abuse he told coaches "above me" of his discomfort but "didn't get into specifics because you're not supposed to quote unquote snitch on your teammates."
That suggests Martin told Dolphins offensive line Jim Turner of something going on but obviously was not specific.
Martin also confirmed he never talked to head coach Joe Philbin about his issue, which has been reported here multiple times and Philbin has claimed throughout.
"There was persistent comments of a racial nature, aggressive sexual comments related to my sister and my mother,'' Martin told Dungy in the interview, portions of which aired on NBC's TODAY Wednesday morning. "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 claimed he had no issues with pranks (perhaps because he participated in those and pulled them on other teammates also) but said the verbal abuse was "personal."
"I have no problem with the normal hazing that you see in the NFL," Martin said. "'Get a haircut,' stuff like that, little pranks. The personal attacking nature, I don’t think there’s any place for that."
That's it. That's the news. The full interview with NBC's Tony Dungy will be aired on NBC Network's PFT at 6:30 Wednesday.
Now my opinion ...
At the risk of sounding unsympathetic, Jon Martin, your weak act is officially old. Go away. Just do what you did best as an offensive lineman on the field and back away. Just do what you did when you left your teammates unexpectedly during the season and simply disappear.
Every single step taken by you in this saga feels manufactured and authored by a lawyer as a step toward a suit. And that makes sense because you definitely have gotten excellent legal advice from your family and the lawyer you added to represent you in this matter. And I, for one, would be surprised if your legal team isn't preparing a suit.
The dramatic throwing down of your lunch tray and departure? No other teammate did that when you were among the players standing up and leaving them alone at a lunch table. So the fact you chose that harmless act to make your departure statement seems contrived now.
Seeking medical help? Please tell us where exactly? Please provide the details of what you were treated for? Because it seems you had some issues you're not eager to share. Furthermore, my understanding of classic ambulance chaser strategy is he or she demands you get "medical treatment" so your coming lawsuit can show damage, thus giving the legal action more bite. Give details, please.
The well-timed and slow leaks of allegations of wrong-doing, all of them done anonymously by your camp? Classic. They slimed the parties you intended be slimed and it was done with plausible deniability that you had nothing to do with it. It's brilliant, actually, using a media hungry for a story to feed the narrative of Martin as victim. You did it through the national media, of course, because you wanted to get your "story" out to as many as possible as quickly as possible. But you also wanted to use that vehicle because the national media wasn't going to question your motives. The national media wasn't going to form an opinion that is politically incorrect. And the national media wasn't in the locker room the week before you left when you were stewing and clearly unhappy about getting moved from left tackle to right tackle -- which in hindsight seems like another reason you left the team.
And now this NBC interview? Timed, coincidentally of course, during Super Bowl week. It is the NFL's biggest attention grabbing week of the year. And so that's the week you pick to go public with your first interview. Because that's the week it will get noticed most.
Well, this interview so far, is a dud, big guy.
The most hurtful thing you can point to as reprehensible behavior by the Dolphins is verbal abuse. So where's the "physical attack" your lawyer claimed happened? Why not give details to that? Where's the evidence of code reds?
You mean to tell me the full extent of the "bullying" your camp has alleged comes down to a pattern of mean texts sent and mean and unfeeling insults uttered by your teammates about your race or your mom or your sister?
Are you 11 years old?
You went to Stanford. You know how to communicate. Why didn't you take your tormentors aside and tell them in no uncertain terms the verbal abuse had to stop? Why didn't you tell your head coach, who definitely would have stopped the abuse and done so in-house so as to not embarrass you, your teammates or the organization? And failing that, why didn't you make an open show of one of the abusers in a full-on locker room takedown that would have definitely gotten everyone's attention -- including your coaches -- and screamed something had to change?
(Sorry people, but sometimes a man has to be a man and defend himself and his honor with whatever tools are available. Yes, flight is one of those tools, but that one pretty much sealed Martin's fate in Miami. He'll never play on that team again. He had to know that.)
Please Tony Dungy, you're a nice man and a Christian. So where is your discernment in all this, my brother? So far this interview shows no moment where you ask Martin why at the height of his frustration he didn't simply get face to face with whomever was tormenting him and do what men have done since David faced down Goliath -- they stand up for themselves.
No, NBC would probably frown upon this line of questioning because it would fly counter to the politically correct demasculinization of men in the 21st century. But if Martin's response to the abuse was always to grin and bear it, or even join in the abuse of others to be part of the group, that speaks poorly of the abusers, no doubt, but it also shows how weak Martin is in a den of Alpha males.
Dungy, by the way, is part of Dolphins owner Stephen Ross's committee that will look into establishing a code of conduct in the locker room. That the Dolphins need such a committee speaks poorly of the coaching staff because it is their job to establish that code and make it clear to players in no uncertain terms. Discpline on the field is born off the field, folks.
Dungy should be removed from this committee because he no longer seems impartial.
One more thing:
None of this gets Richie Incognito off the hook. He's a meathead. He displays all the signs of a bully -- loud, obnoxious at times, demanding attention. He will not be and should not be in any future Dolphins locker room. His abuse of Martin and perhaps others within the Dolphins organization is reprehensible. And his text messages? Who talks like that? But because he's something of a bully, he can be stopped dead in his tracks.
Early in training camp in 2013 he started calling another reporter a "nerd." One day as I'm standing in the middle of the locker room, he walks by and starts joking about me looking like I was lifting weights (which I don't) and then started speaking gibberish as if in mocking Spanish.
I asked Incognito politely, but firmly and seriously to stop. "Just stop."
He did. Never again.