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Multiple Arizona Cardinals Players Come to Jonathan Martin's Defense Amidst Bullying Scandal

Larry Fitzgerald, Karlos Dansby, and Darnell Dockett Voice Their Support of Jonathan Martin in Light of Bullying Scandal

Yahoo Contributor Network
COMMENTARY | On October 30th, news broke that Miami Dolphins' starting right tackle Jonathan Martin left the team's facilities after an issue with unspecified teammates in the lunch room caused him to have a reported mental break down.

A week and some interesting voice mails later, and we have discovered that Richie Incognito has reportedly been harassing and bullying the second year player since he joined the team, making racist and threatening remarks as well as financially extorting the young man.

Surprisingly, some NFL players and executives have criticized Martin for being soft and not confronting the veteran for his transgressions. These views are not shared by members of the Arizona Cardinals, who were quick to voice their support of Jonathan Martin as well as criticize Richie Incognito for his abusive behavior.

Linebacker Karlos Dansby, who shared a locker room with both players in 2012, claims Martin handled things the right way, with a regard for his own safety.

"It could have went entirely the wrong way if Jonathan handled it himself," Dansby said on a local radio station Tuesday. "Some guys, the stuff that was said, he might try to kill you, man."

Many people are saying that Martin should have confronted Incognito about his bullying, but Dansby vehemently disagreed.

"He didn't want to go there, he didn't want to have to throw his future and his career away, so that's the best way he can do it," Dansby said. "If he would have confronted Richie about it, it probably would have went there."

Defensive tackle Darnell Dockett was a bit more harsh towards Incognito, claiming that he expected something of this caliber from the offensive guard.

"Everybody was talking about it, and I'm looking like, 'Oh, are you surprised that he did that?'" Docket said of the Incognito situation. "And it's crazy because a lot of guys on our team are like, 'Nah, we're not surprised at all. Let's go on with our day.'

Docket has been known to haze rookies in the past, but says there's a difference between traditional hazing in good fun and the extent to which Incognito took it.

"That's so classless to me," Dockett said. "I feel bad for the young guy because I do feel like as a veteran, you're supposed to help young guys develop. Help them develop as a better player on and off the field. Not abuse them and send them text messages and call them the N-word and things like that."

Richie Incognito was with the St. Louis Rams from 2005-2009, so him and Dockett regularly squared off as divisional rivals. He knows how Incognito operates, and claims to have zero respect for him.

"I don't have any respect for the guy and I'm glad the Dolphins are taking action against him and not respecting that."

Larry Fitzgerald, being the soft spoken individual he is, didn't say anything controversial when asked about the Martin/Incognito situation. He did, however, make it very clear that what Incognito did was not okay in his book.

"I don't think there's a place in the locker room, I don't think there's a place in society for that type of language and behavior," Fitzgerald said. "To treat somebody that you would consider a friend -- you know, the offensive linemen in the NFL are usually the most close-knit group out of any of the positions, I mean they together, all five of them have to work together for your team to have success offensively. To see that kind of dissension is disheartening and saddening."

Regardless of the team's record, it's nice to see a locker room this united when a situation like the one in Miami happens.

"You don't hear anything about that taking place," Dansby said. "We're like family, so why would we do something to hurt our family? I don't understand that."


Cody Milford is an up and coming sports writer hailing from Arizona. His passion is covering the Arizona Cardinals, and his work has been associated with Sports Kings, Yardbarker, Bleacher Report, and Sports Illustrated. Follow him on Twitter.

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