Miami Dolphins offensive lineman Jonathan Martin said in an interview with NBC’s Tony Dungy that he felt “trapped” after alleged repeated bullying by teammate Richie Incognito.
“I’m a grown man. I’ve been in locker rooms,” Martin told Dungy. “One incident doesn’t bother me. It was the persistence.
“I felt trapped, like I didn’t have a way to make it right. I thought it was best to remove myself from the situation.”
Martin also claimed he was not the only victim of hazing in the Dolphins’ locker room.
“There are other people that got it too,” Martin said. “I can’t say why I may have gotten more.”
Martin told Dungy that he wants to return to the NFL, and the former coach believes the 24-year-old tackle will “get an opportunity.”
Martin left the Dolphins in October amid allegations he was harassed by teammates, including Incognito. New York attorney Ted Wells began an investigation ordered by the NFL in November.
“I have no problem with the normal hazing that you see in the NFL, get a haircut, stuff like that, little pranks,” Martin said. “But of a personal, attacking nature, I don’t think there’s any place for that.”
During Tuesday’s news conference to introduce new general manager Dennis Hickey, Dolphins owner Stephen Ross was asked if either Martin or Incognito will return to the team in 2014.
“I don’t believe so,” Ross said candidly.
Miami’s owner quickly tried to backtrack after realizing what he said. But Ross’ honest answer was already out to the public.
“Well, I can’t say that. Therefore, I retract that,” Ross said. “One is a free agent, by the way, the other is on our roster.”
Ross said he expects the full Ted Wells report to be released not long after the Super Bowl. Ross said he’s been in communication with the NFL and has a good idea of some of the contents of the report.
The Dolphins finished 8-8 last season and fired former general manager Jeff Ireland. He was responsible for drafting Martin in the second round in 2012 and signed Incognito as a free agent in 2011.
The interview will air in full on a special episode of Pro Football Talk on NBCSN today (Jan. 29) at 6:30 p.m. EST. Watch a clip below.