Miami Dolphins deny bullying led to the departure of Jonathan Martin

Anwar S Richardson
Shutdown Corner

There has been a lot of speculation surrounding the recent vanishing of Miami Dolphins tackle Jonathan Martin, but more details are starting to emerge.

The Dolphins released a statement on Sunday denying previous reports that bullying contributed to Martin leaving his team this past Monday. In addition, the organization shot down reports that the NFL Players Association was investigating their team.

Here is that press release:

“The Miami Dolphins, including Coach Joe Philbin and Jonathan's teammates, have been in communication with Jonathan and his family since his departure from the club and continue to be in contact. Our primary concern for Jonathan is his overall health and well-being. As an organization, we take any accusations of player misconduct seriously. The notion of bullying is based on speculation and has not been presented to us as a concern from Jonathan or anyone else internally. The reports that the NFLPA is investigating our players are inaccurate. Additionally, the NFL offered its assistance during this time, which we appreciated and gladly accepted. We will continue to make Jonathan's health and well-being a focus as we do with all of our players."

In fact, Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel reporters Omar Kelly and Dave Hyde said Martin’s departure was a result of his previous emotional issues. There is no set timetable for his return.

However, ESPN reporters Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen said the reason Martin has not formally accused anyone on the team of bullying or harassment is because he fears retribution. According to Schefter, Martin was intimidated into contributing $15,000 toward a trip to Las Vegas by the Dolphins guard Richie Incognito. Martin did not want to go, and even though he did not attend the trip, he gave up the the money anyway.

Incognito has said on Twitter he is innocent and wants his name cleared. The Miami Herald said there is an issue throughout the locker room, not just with the treatment of Martin.

And then there was this tweet from Dolphins defensive tackle Jared Odrick from Friday:

It does appear a cafeteria prank by Martin’s teammates contributed to his exodus. Here is a portion of Kelly and Hyde’s story:

Martin left the Dolphins on Monday after a cafeteria prank had several teammates leave his lunch table as he sat down. He proceeded to smash his food tray and left the facility.

One teammate said Martin "just snapped," following the prank, which came a day after he allowed one of the team's six sacks the 27-17 loss to New England, which was his first start at right tackle this season.

Despite the prank, Jeff Darlington of the NFL Network previously said Incognito spoke with Martin, and the departed teammate does not blame any specific player, but the NFL culture.

While the clarity is interesting, Martin’s emotional well-being is what matters most right now.

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Anwar S Richardson is a writer for Shutdown Corner on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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