TAMPA, Fla. - Miami Dolphins offensive lineman Jonathan Martin has remained quiet since he was allegedly harassed and hazed by teammate Richie Incognito.
Martin will finally speak to Dolphins owner Stephen Ross about what supposedly occurred.
Ross held a press conference prior to Miami’s game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Monday and said he intends to speak with Martin on Wednesday. He would not reveal where that meeting will occur, but said his goal is discover what led to his player leaving the team. Ross declined to confirm if any of the allegations against Incognito occurred when asked on Monday.
“I have reached out to Jonathan Martin,” Ross said. “I texted him. We’ve communicated via text. And I plan to meet with him shortly.”
Ross also announced he formed a committee of former NFL players and coaches to help create a better workplace within the Dolphins’ franchise. Former Buccaneers and Colts coach Tony Dungy, former Dolphins coach Don Shula, former players Dan Marino, Curtis Martin and Jason Taylor are members of the committee. Ross said that committee could eventually increase to nine members.
Dolphins CEO Tom Garfinkel will lead the task force.
“I know this is so appalling to me,” Ross said. “I know I am capable of overreacting. I want to get everybody’s feedback because we all know the football locker room is a different workplace than most of us are accustomed to. Basically, I don’t want to make any excuses. I want to know that our workplace going forward is the best workplace you can find in the NFL.”
Despite the formation of the committee, Ross expressed his confidence in coach Joe Philbin.
“They are probably people who have as much respect as anybody that ever played or coached the game,” Ross said. “They care about their players. They care what happens. They also, I think, can give me advice working with Joe Philbin because I have total, utmost confidence in Joe Philbin as our coach.”
Ross’ endorsement of Philbin could end the speculation that he would lose his job because of this spectacle.
Garfinkel said his goal is to uncover the facts before the organization makes their final judgment.
“There’s been a lot of information put out to the public, and we simply don’t know exactly what happened or didn’t happen yet,” Garfinkel said. “I do know this. Steve Ross is passionate about building a best in class organization, and he won’t compromise his values. He will make sure as an organization we do the right thing, and I share those values. We want to know the truth.
"Everyone within our organization has been instructed to cooperate fully with the NFL investigation and knows that’s priority number one right now. Again, we simply want to know the facts, and when we do, I can assure you we will respond accordingly.”
Ross did not say say he arranged a meeting with Incognito, but added it "probably" will occur.
Ross admitted his team needed to stop hazing in the future.
"Absolutely," Ross said. "There are certain things that are going to happen. People will stand up and sing their fight songs, things like that. It's where you draw the line ... One thing that will not change is there will be no racial slurs, harassing or bullying in that workplace, in that locker room and outside the locker room."
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