Jonathan Martin left the Miami Dolphins last week saying that relentless bullying drove him away, and now the world is learning just what the hazing entailed.
On Thursday Martin’s lawyer, David Cornwell, responded to allegations that Martin simply wasn’t tough enough to handle an NFL locker room by releasing one of the text messages the right tackle was sent by a teammate. In the text, the teammate very graphically said what he planned to do to Martin’s sister.
According to Cornwell, the unnamed teammate said:
“We are going to run train on your sister…. She loves me. I am going to f*** her without a condom and c** in her c***.”
Much of the blame in the cast has fallen on fellow offensive lineman Richie Incognito. Incognito was reportedly asked by coaches to help “toughen up” Martin after Martin missed a voluntary training exercise as a rookie. Jonathan Martin has claimed that the abuse went much further, and after leaving the team released a transcript of a voice mail in which Incognito threatened to kill him and called him a “half-n***er.”
Teammates told a different story, saying that Richie Incognito took Martin under his wing and that the two were friends. They also said that Martin laughed about the voicemail and showed it to others in the locker room.
Privately, many others have questioned whether Jonathan Martin was tough enough to survive in an NFL locker room.
In a statement to Football Talk, David Cornwell said this is most certainly not the case.
“Jonathan Martin’s toughness is not at issue,” Cornwell said. “Jonathan has started every game with the Miami Dolphins since he was drafted in 2012. At Stanford, he was the anchor for Jim Harbaugh’s ‘smash mouth’ brand of football and he protected Andrew Luck’s blind side.”
Cornwell said what Martin endured was far from normal locker room hazing.
“For the entire season-and-a-half that he was with the Dolphins, he attempted to befriend the same teammates who subjected him to the abuse with the hope that doing so would end the harassment. This is a textbook reaction of victims of bullying. Despite these efforts, the taunting continued. Beyond the well-publicized voice mail with its racial epithet, Jonathan endured a malicious physical attack on him by a teammate, and daily vulgar comments such as the quote at the bottom. These facts are not in dispute.”
Jonathan Martin remains away from the Dolphins, while Richie Incognito is suspended indefinitely.