Friday saw news on both fronts of the Miami Dolphins bullying scandal as Jonathan Martin met with NFL officials for the first time, and Richie Incognito filed a grievance against his team.
Martin, who has remained out of the public eye since the shocking allegations came to light, met with the NFL counsel investigating the accusations on Friday.
After he and a companion walked into a meeting at lawyer Ted Wells’ office in Manhattan, Martin addressed a crowd of reporters stating:
“I do not intend to discuss this matter publicly,” he said. “This is the right way to handle the situation.”
Then he turned back and walked into the office where he stayed for approximately six hours.
Team owner Stephen Ross was expected to meet with Jonathan Martin on Wednesday, but that meeting was delayed.
Meanwhile Incognito, who is indefinitely suspended from the team for inappropriate conduct, filed a non-football injury grievance against the Dolphins, according to the NFL Players Association.
In the grievance, Incognito challenges his status of “indefinitely suspended”, which stems from allegations of bullying brought forth by Martin who accused the offensive guard of sending racially charged text messages and other harassment.
Incognito was suspended by the Dolphins on November 3, after Martin’s reps presented the Dolphins with documents backing up the accusations, including a voicemail, in which Incognito allegedly used the N-word.
Under Article 43 of the collective bargaining agreement, the maximum a player can be suspended by a team for conduct detrimental is four weeks plus an additional game check. In this case, that would amount to $1,276,470.59, according to The Sports XChange.
In an interview with Fox Sports aired on Sunday, Incognito admitted using foul language and racial slurs and called his behavior inappropriate, but not out of the ordinary between him and Martin, who he said, is his friend.
Richie Incognito released copies of text messages between him and Martin to Fox, which back up the fact that the language he used was “normal” between the two.
The records show 1,142 text messages between the teammates.
Wells will determine the role coaches, management, and players had in the current conflict.
Ross has said he is embarrassed by the negative attention the Dolphins are getting because of the scandal and promised to get to the bottom of the situation following the investigation.
However, outsiders have been shocked by the locker room behavior brought to light by the revelations, although many insiders don’t seem to be surprised.
The bullying charges are a first in professional sports and came as a shock to many who considered Jonathan Martin and Richie Incognito to be friends.
Most in the Miami Dolphins team are siding with Richie Incognito after the team’s training facility has been invaded by hundreds of reporters seeking information in the case.
Even though Richie Incognito is white and Jonathan Martin is black, teammates say Incognito is not racist, and players have almost unanimously sided with the Dolphins’ guard.