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(Reuters) - Richie Incognito, one of the central figures in a bullying saga engulfing the Miami Dolphins, has filed a grievance against the team, the National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) said on Thursday.
The offensive lineman was suspended indefinitely by Miami on November 3 for detrimental conduct after being singled out by tackle Jonathan Martin, who left the team in emotional distress over what he later alleged to be bullying and harassment.
"The grievance challenges his suspension for conduct which was alleged to have occurred while he was with the club," the NFLPA said in a statement.
"In the grievance, Incognito requests that the hearing be held on an expedited basis so that he can immediately resume playing for the team. The NFL Players Association will continue to protect the rights of all players."
According to NFL rules, the maximum a player can be banned by a team for detrimental conduct is four games. A suspension lasting longer than that must be league-mandated, according to a report on the NFL's website.
The grievance by Incognito, who is losing over $235,000 for every game he is suspended, would be heard by an independent arbitrator.
Meanwhile, the NFL has begun an independent investigation into the Dolphins' workplace led by Ted Wells, a noted New York attorney with experience in sports cases, to determine if there was any misconduct.
Reporting by Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Frank Pingue