Dolphins owner to meet Martin on bullying complaint

Mon Nov 11, 2013 8:25pm EST
 
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(Reuters) - Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross said on Monday he had arranged a meeting for Wednesday with Jonathan Martin, the player who left the team saying he was emotionally distraught over being bullied by team mates.

Ross said he was "appalled" by some of the revelations in the case that has captured widespread public attention over the so-called clubhouse culture on the Dolphins and other National Football League teams.

Fellow lineman Richie Incognito, who was singled out by Martin, has already been suspended indefinitely by the National Football League team, and the NFL has announced an independent investigation into the matter.

"I'd like to hear from him (Martin) about what happened and what made him feel that way," Ross told a news conference in Tampa before Monday night's game between the Dolphins and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in his first public comments on the case.

"And what we could have done to prevent this from happening."

Ross said he had utmost confidence in his staff including coach Joe Philbin, but said that if the independent probe found there needed to be changes, "then there will be changes."

Martin, a second-round draft pick in 2012 who started all 16 games last year and the first seven games this season, left the team at the end of October suffering from emotional distress and representatives of his later informed the club of the alleged bullying and abuse by team mates.

Thousands of dollars were demanded to pay for dinners and a Las Vegas outing organized by veteran players, according to claims made by Martin's representatives that also included other forms of verbal abuse.

A text message sent from Incognito to Martin, laced with racial epithets and violent threats, that was published particularly disgusted the team owner.   Continued...