- Associated Press - Friday, November 8, 2013

DAVIE, FLA. (AP) - Jonathan Martin’s lawyer says the Miami Dolphins tackle was harassed by more than one teammate and the abuse went far beyond traditional locker room hazing.

Martin was subjected to a malicious physical attack and daily vulgar comments, lawyer David Cornwell said Thursday. He was hired this week to represent Martin, who left the Dolphins last week.

His agent then complained to the Dolphins that Martin had been harassed, and they suspended guard Richie Incognito.

The NFL is investigating whether Incognito harassed or bullied Martin, and whether teammates and the organization mishandled the matter.


Incognito has long been regarded as among the NFL’s dirtiest players, and has had brushes with the law. A police report that surfaced Thursday said a female volunteer at a Dolphins charity golf tournament in May 2012 complained that Incognito harassed her. According to the report filed in the Miami suburb of Aventura, the woman said Incognito touched her inappropriately with his golf club, leaned close to her as if dancing and then emptied bottled water in her face.

The complaint to the police was first reported by Miami television station WPLG.

Incognito was not charged. The Dolphins declined to comment Friday.

Cornwell has represented the NFL and several prominent players, including Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. He also was a candidate in 2009 to become executive director of the NFLPA, a job that went to DeMaurice Smith.

Cornwell’s statement alleges an unidentified Dolphins player vulgarly threatened Martin’s sister. The attorney said the facts “are not in dispute.”

“For the entire season and a half that he was with the Dolphins, he attempted to befriend the same teammates who subjected him to the abuse with the hope that doing so would end the harassment,” the statement said. “This is a textbook reaction of victims of bullying. Despite these efforts, the taunting continued. …

“Eventually, Jonathan made a difficult choice. Despite his love for football, Jonathan left the Dolphins. Jonathan looks forward to getting back to playing football. In the meantime, he will cooperate fully with the NFL investigation.”

The Dolphins and Incognito’s agent didn’t respond to requests for comment on Cornwell’s statement.

Some say Martin, a Stanford graduate who went about his business quietly, handled the situation well. But, in keeping with the macho ethic of pro football, some players believe Martin should have responded more firmly.

“Is Incognito wrong? Absolutely. He’s 100 percent wrong,” New York Giants safety Antrel Rolle said. “No individual should have to go through that, especially in their workplace.

“But at the same time, Jonathan Martin is a 6-4, 320-pound man. I mean, at some point and time you need to stand your ground as an individual. Am I saying go attack, go fight him? No. I think we all understand we can stand our ground without anything being physical.”

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