Offensive lineman Jonathan Martin has opted to go public with his reasons for walking away from the NFL on Oct. 28, 2013. According to NBC Sports, the former Miami Dolphin sat down for an exclusive NBCSN interview with former NFL coach, now NBC analyst Tony Dungy to share his side of the story.
Martin claimed that alleged bullying and harassment, along with ‘racial, aggressive and sexually charged comments’ served as a dominant reason for his departure from the team. He also alleges that he wasn’t the only victim who suffered from hazing behind the closed doors of Dolphins’ locker room.
”There are other people that got it too,” Martin said to Dungy. “I can’t say why I may have gotten more.” Dungy is currently part of an assembled committee developed by Miami Dolphins’ owner Stephen Ross to assess the team’s code of conduct.
“One instance doesn’t bother me,” Martin said in an excerpt of the interview aired last night on NBC Nightly News and again this morning on the TODAY show. “It’s the persistence of it. I wish I would have had more tools to solve my situation…but I didn’t.”
Earlier this morning on the TODAY show, Dungy revealed that he has personally spoken with three of the team’s general managers in reference to Martin. All three expressed optimism about the possibility of Martin having a chance to play again.
”They all said he’s a good player. He’ll get an opportunity,” Dungy said. ”But they’re all afraid of the scrutiny that comes with it. He’s got to get to the right environment, not a place like the Miami locker room was.
It has been reported that Martin made numerous allegations in the interview. He alleges that some of his former teammates made racial and aggressive comments in reference to him, while sexually, offensive comments were directed toward his mother and sister.
He also stated that he sought assistance from the team’s coaching staff in an attempt to resolve the issues, but to no avail. ”Members of the organization knew I was struggling,” Martin said.
The 2-time All-American claimed he initially reached out to former teammate Richie Incognito, who was actually suspended for the final 8 games of last season, following his involvement in the matter. Martin also revealed that he spoke of his woes with friends on other NFL teams, and they even agreed that his experiences with the Dolphins far exceeded that of typical ‘locker room culture’.
”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.”
”I understand opportunities in the NFL are fleeting,” Martin said. ”I’m hopeful that I get another opportunity and I’m going to make the most of it because this is what I love to do. I don’t know what I would do if I wasn’t playing football.”
Martin’s NBCSN interview with Dungy is scheduled to air in full on NBCSN’s Pro Talk Football tonight at 6:30 p.m. ET.
Image via Twitter | Jonathan Martin