DAVIE, Fla. – Offensive tackle Jonathan Martin says the persistence of vulgar language around the Miami Dolphins made him feel trapped, so he left the team before lodging allegations at the root of a bullying scandal.
Dolphins owner Stephen Ross said he is proud of the way the franchise responded to the case.
Martin’s comments, which aired Tuesday on “NBC Nightly News,” came in his first interview since the scandal broke. He left the Dolphins in October and alleged he was harassed daily by teammates, including guard Richie Incognito, who was suspended for the final eight games.
“I’m a grown man,” said Martin, 24. “I’ve been in locker rooms. There’s vulgar language used in locker rooms. One instance doesn’t bother me. It’s the persistence of it. I wish I would have had more tools to solve my situation.
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“I felt trapped, like I didn’t have a way to make it right.”
New York attorney Ted Wells began a league investigation in November, and his report is to be released after the Super Bowl.
Incognito becomes a free agent this winter. When asked if Incognito or the 6-foot-5, 312-pound Martin will play for the Dolphins again, Ross equivocated.
“I don’t believe so — well, I can’t say that,” Ross said, adding with a chuckle, “Therefore, I retract that.”
Wells’ report is expected to address the roles of coach Joe Philbin, his staff and Miami management in the case that inspired a national debate about workplace bullying.
• The Dallas Cowboys decided one season with Monte Kiffin as defensive coordinator and Bill Callahan as play-caller was enough.
Kiffin, who will remain on the staff, was demoted in favor of defensive-line coach Rod Marinelli. Scott Linehan was hired as the passing-game coordinator who will call plays, though Callahan will keep his titles of offensive coordinator and offensive-line coach.
Former St. Louis coach Linehan was Detroit’s offensive coordinator the past five seasons. Linehan, a Sunnyside native, was on the Washington Huskies’ staff from 1994 to 1998 and was the offensive coordinator for the last three of those seasons.
• Carolina coach Ron Rivera, 52, got a three-year contract extension that runs through the 2017 season. The Panthers went 12-4 this season and won the NFC South championship.
• Harry Gamble, president of the Philadelphia Eagles from 1986 to 1994, died at age 83.