Report: “Abusive environment” for Jonathan Martin in Miami

AP

More and more details are emerging regarding the circumstances surrounding tackle Jonathan Martin’s departure from the Dolphins.  And the situation demonstrates how mean and unrelenting an NFL locker room can be.

According to Alex Marvez of FOX Sports, Martin’s exit came after “persistent bullying and teasing” from some of his teammates.

Per Marvez, Martin has taken a personal leave of absence to spend time with his family.

The situation came to a head this week, but Martin previously had “tried dealing with a slew of indignities that crossed into personal and family insults.”  Marvez writes that the Dolphins knew that “cruel actions” of some teammates “went well beyond the customary hazing.”

The NFLPA reportedly is monitoring the situation, and the union has inquired about the treatment of Martin.

While inappropriate and unacceptable, it’s hardly uncommon.  Last year, Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul threw cornerback Prince Amukamara into a cold tub, apparently because of the perception among veterans that Amukamara was soft.

Incidents like this make it hard to believe that the NFL locker room is ready to accept an openly gay teammate.

98 responses to “Report: “Abusive environment” for Jonathan Martin in Miami

  1. The Dolphins should go after Mike Gundy…He’s a Man!!!….He’s 40!!

    and might be the coach they need

  2. This is when the locker room leaders should have stepped in and put an end to this.
    When the “hazing” and horseplay affects your team’s performance, then you’re not being a “funny guy”, you’re being a cancer to the environment. Going after a guy’s family is beyond “harmless teasing” and borders on the spot where the guy might go ballistic and do something to his tormentors, at which point they’ll play the victim card and will have “no idea” of why Martin snapped on them.

    Somebody needs to take control of that locker room.

  3. What is the nature of the abuse? Why would 52 adult men make it a point to belittle and badger one member of their team. I can only think of one reason that would get that sort of response in an NFL locker room. It is disgusting to have to consider that as a possibility, but that seems like one environment where it would be tolerated.

  4. It wasn’t the “Weirdo” part of the taunting that bothered Jonathan, it was “Big”. He’s had to fight all of his life to control weight gain, and thought he was doing quite well.

  5. You a grown man, ain’t no such thing as an “abusive environment” and “bullying.” Especially in the locker room. Man up.

  6. This whole issue has nothing to do with anyone being an openly gay athlete.

    It’s careless comments from the media like: “Incidents like this make it hard to believe that the NFL locker room is ready to accept an openly gay teammate” that aren’t helping things.

  7. This sort of situation reflects the organization. Last year, Baltimore Ravens Brendan Ayanbadejo led a very frank and intelligent discussion about openness to differences in the locker room. The Baltimore Ravens also happened to have the players required to win a super bowl.

    The Miami Dolphins appear to be comprised of players who lack the intelligence, common sense and maturity needed to function as a professional team. Sounds like they’re a freakin’ middle school team.

    You don’t have to like everyone or even agree with everyone on your team, but refusing to eat with a teammate? Really?

    In short, where the Ravens are winners, the Dolphins are losers.

  8. I don’t agree with any mistreatment levied upon this guy, but
    this situation is so juvenile. It’s like a kid going to his mommy and the principal about other kids bullying him, and now he refuses to go back to school because of the shame. Next time, MAN UP and handle that situation with a pair of balls and maybe you wouldn’t be made to look like a chump.

  9. I know it sounds kinda funny that he’s being bullied, but really the team is a workplace and this juvenile nonsense has no place in a professional work environment staffed by “adults”. Some people have a lot of growing up to do.

  10. Bullying and trying to degrade someone else is an act of a coward. A full-fledged coward. If this situation is true, and this behavior was allowed to continue, then I am ashamed to call myself a fan of the Dolphins right now.

  11. Give me a break, you are paid to be mean and nasty. If you are to sensitive then you need to move on.

    Now GoDell will make them all take sensitivity training. I might have to switch to a real mans sport in the near future. Anyone up for Rugby.

  12. Who’s old enough to remember when the Miami Dolphins were actually a model NFL organization?

    Kids, there was a time long, long ago when these guys kicked ass like it was nobody’s business.

    They’ve been worthless garbage for so long, it seems like the undefeated season and back-to-back Super Bowl Championships are just urban legends…..

  13. Boohoo, I make millions of dollars and they were being mean to me. If you have to run home to mommy then u probably shouldn’t be in the NFL. Man up rookie.

  14. Not trying to be old school America or something (man, those were good days) , but how about taking those fools teasing down!

    Never mind, u might get shot.

    Ok, go ahead and cry and seek therapy…carry on

  15. If the coaching staff knew about it and did nothing they are just as guilty as the offenders. Heck, even more so, because by not doing anything about it they violated federal labor laws regarding harassment and hostile work environment.

  16. That’s a great comparison of an isolated incident vs. something going on for the entirety of Martin’s career (1.5 seasons).

    Worse off is that the o-line trenches is supposed to be a brotherhood.. sad.

    Maybe he should have used some fist cuffs from the get go.. but from the sounds of it, I don’t think a player would last in the NFL with very many second chances (problem player) for fighting every teammate. lol

  17. Jonathan Martin’s mother = Harvard Class of 1978

    Jonathan Martin’s father = Harvard Class of 1978

    Jonathan Martin’s grandfather = Harvard Class of 1956

    Jonathan Martin’s great grandfather = Harvard Class of 1924

  18. Bullying a 320 pound tackle. Who was taking him on the kicker. Martins nfl career is over. If you cannot stand up for yourself how ate you supposed to protect the qb’s blindside. Argon was and will forever be soft

  19. Unless Martin is gay, the last comment is a reach. An openly gay player may be protected given the social implications of even run-of-the-mill rookie hazing.

    We just don’t know, but eventually we will.

  20. Lol isnt he over 300lbs? Liberals have to get over this bullying thing. Remember when bullying used to be a right of passage? Your dad used to teach you how to fight or confront a bully.

  21. Incognito is one of the biggest jerks in the league. It makes me so mad that such a great sport has so many people that have been terrible human beings their entire lives. I know you are supposed to perceive these guys as tough but mental abuse can affect anyone regardless of size/toughness.

  22. Step one: Fire offensive line coach Jim Turner.

    At this point in the season, the offensive line need to be a united front, a gang. An attack on one is an attack on all. It is Jim Turner’s job to turn them into that united team. Obviously he’s failed at doing this, or hasn’t even bothered to try. Send him packing. Put some one in there who will take charge of the situation.

    Step two: Determine who the ringleader(s) are and either suspend them or cut them.

    Anyone who isn’t focused on winning football games doesn’t need to be on this team. The Dolphins have a losing record. A little addition by subtraction could send a message and fix that.

  23. It must have gotten pretty bad, because I assume there is some level of hazing that is considered commonplace.

    In regards to accepting a gay teammate, Sports leagues need to get into this century. If soldiers can go about their business without distraction, these overpaid neanderthals need to grow up.

  24. huh….. The most violent sport in the world, full of roids, rage, and mean sumbiches ….

    and folks care about them bullying some weirdo sissy?

  25. So, while off the field in the “office” he was being verbally abused by his co-workers and upper management was aware of it? He should be getting a nice pay day from Steve Ross.

  26. I feel for the man. I grow weary of the silly, non-professional behavior tolerated I professional sports. I guarantee that many of accepted behaviors in professional sports would quickly land you in trouble with your employer in the private sector. Hell, most people would be shown the door for the behavior we read about each week.

    I know most athletes are professionals and good guys; it’s the few idiots who infuriate.

  27. Now this should be interesting… The NFLPA is more than happy to go after teams and ownership when players are deemed taken advantage of…

    So when one of their own members is taken advantage of by other members of the NFLPA, how vigilant will the NFLPA be about going after the perpetrators (players / NFLPA members).

  28. How cruel to do that to a teammate. Send those players that did that home for the rest of the year. They dont deserve to play in the nfl. This is johnathons dream, and you rotten socalled teammates took it from him. You deserve to be kicked off the team. Keep your head up Johnathan.

  29. Fits our society perfectly. Men nowadays are so insecure with their masculinity they have to demonstrate their rooster mentality in the hen yard or clubhouse.

    It is just about the end when compassion is deemed as a weakness…

  30. This just embarrassing. No one should have to work in a hostile environment, but even less so in the NFL. The NFL is a brotherhood and that’s your teammate. Every player involved in harassing him should be ashamed..

    For his sake, I hope the Dolphins release or trade him so he can get a fresh start with another team. It’s a damn shame to hear this kind of story. Best wishes to Jonathan Martin; I’m in your corner bro!

  31. Players have shown less and less respect for opposing players. So does it surprise anyone that they treat their team mates any differently? This is an indictment of where our society is at now days. I believe Walter Payton once said theirs 2 things you don’t mess with when it comes to pranks/rookie hazing. Money and family. It sounds like this has crossed at least one of those lines. It is a sad day when grown men are too blind to see that they have crossed it.

  32. Well, Martin IS from Stanford after all, a school notorious for producing soft players who tend to quit like their rugby team did few years ago against CAL.

  33. It’s a matter of time before Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton get involved in this…now just imaging if Tom Brady, Caly Matthews or Aaron Rodgers said the same thing. Would those two have their backs?

  34. It will never change. In a NFL locker room, it’s like High School. You have the popular guys on one side, then you have the guys that blend in, then you have the loners.

    Martin is the latest victim of that.

  35. That’s horrible. I wonder if winning teams with strong leadership have issues like that in their locker rooms. I can just hear Philbin the way he had a conversation with Chad Johnson about his language… “You should be nice to each other…you don’t have to be…you don’t have to listen to me…I’m just saying it as a suggestion. But uh, well you know, do whatever you are going to do.”

    A coach with leadership and people skills would be like okay knock it off, or tell his veteran leaders to set the tone, and that would be the end of that.

  36. It will be interesting when the truth, if it ever does, fully comes out.

    is it just folks associated with Martin talking now?

    Hard to believe a guy who starts, and is an important part of the team would be “bullied” if there wasn’t something on Martin’s side. Highly down high paid, grown men are gonna just pick on a guy who they need to win games.

    Sounds more like, maybe he doesn’t get along with some teammates and the guys he doesn’t mesh with are more popular on the team so he finds himself out numbered. If both sides go at it, it’s not bullying. Today, bullying is misused way too much.

    But again, we don’t have all the truth yet, so we’ll see. Just not sure I’m buying the he was bullied story.

  37. Good for Martin too get out of that situation.

    The Dolphins can be in trouble here if they knew about the hostile work environment that was created by Martin’s teammates. Here is hoping the O-Line coach was not pushing it as well.

    On another note…. I think finally this maybe the year we get rid of Ireland and Sherman!

  38. And the “softening” of America hits an all time low. Even football players are whining about, “he said something about my mom!” Grow up. The NFL is a job and just like any job…you don’t have to like who you worm with…you just have to fake it at work. Not everyone in a locker room is going to be best friends. My assumption is that when he returns with a note from the principal telling the other students to stop picking on him, his bad time before will look like a vacation.

  39. Maybe the players should worry about their play instead of making fun of a teammate. I know they won tonight, but they lost to a 4th string PS player when you had two weeks to prepare for him, then you blew a 17-3 lead against New England and again tonight (fortunately, they only needed 5 more points to win tonight). Maybe if they would pick this guy up, instead of bringing him down, he might be in the mindset to do well in his job. Maybe then Tannehill has someone that will block for him.

    Whomever is causing this negative press needs to be taken care of. I’m sure if they are exposed, someone will pull up dirt on them, which I wouldn’t mind reading.

  40. 1) Isnt “hazing”normally reserved for rookies? When the Fish saw that it continued into year two, they shoulda put the kibash on it.

    2) I instantly thought of Amukamara when I heard about Martin. And I instantly thought that the same reason Amukamara got hazed (imho) was the same reason Martin got hazed.

    3) Its not cool. He is a grown man. All he wants is to be liked, to do a good job, and to be a good teammate. As long as he isnt stalking you, be a man and accept him as a man.

    This isnt high school, where you feel you have to join in the bullying, or your “friends” will turn on you too. You’re a grown man, big and strong, and in top physical shape. What are you afraid of.

    4) Tannehill, if he’s ever gonna be a true Franchise Quarterback, needs to handle this. (I’m a Bills fan and hate the fish, but this is what needs to happen).

  41. Knowing that Richie Incognito is on the offensive line is all one needs to know to understand the situation.

  42. If this is true, this is a huge failure of leadership from the coach and the QB. For the team to do well, everybody needs to be playing their best football. That means teammates need to support and encourage each other rather than bully and tear down. Especially when the target is a tackle on an offensive line with pass protection issues, and especially when he’s a 2nd round pick and starter in whom the Dolphins have a lot invested a lot. Unbelievable. Someone has to be a grown-up, put their foot down and demand that teammates treat each other with some amount of respect.

  43. So grown men are bullying and humiliating another grown man while playing a “kids game”. Those rejects need to get a life.

    And your example of JPP throwing Amukamara into a tub has absolutely zero relevance to what is being described (in your own article) is happening to Martin.

    I’m sure pranks are played in the locker room all the time, but far reaching acts of personal hate insults, and humiliation have no place in the locker room.

    It doesn’t matter how “soft” someone is or how “sensitive” someone is. Each person has their own boundary. And if you know what that boundary is, it should be respected. Especially amongst men that are paid millions to play a game.

    Grow up.

  44. It’s to bad the Dolphins won the game. If anyone saw the end of the game, there was maybe 15,000 people left at the stadium by over time. It’s embarrassing it takes a radio station to buy out every unsold game, which is most games, to get sell outs. If Miami can’t sell out games then they should move out of state to a place where they actually deserve a team.

  45. [1] Kids on the high-school swim team throw each other into the cold tub, so integrating this example detracts from the seriousness of what is going on here; and [2] fixating on the ‘openly gay teammate’ issue again takes us off the target: this is quasi-psychological torture, which I personally experienced in college during the height of fraternity hazing. One of the many factors which exacerbates this type of male-team abuse, is a wide-spread inability of the participants and ‘cheerleaders’ to feel real empathy toward the victim.

  46. This is why young people have little respect for grownups. In adult environments we act as childish or even more than they do.

    Although at times it’s the acts of few, those that know better and turn a blind eye are no better than those that are guilty.

  47. Martin should have punched the biggest punk out of the group in the throat and that would have ended that.

  48. It’s going to take something drastic for it to change. Bullying is a serious thing no matter what age. Hate to say it but it’s going to take someone snapping violently for a change to happen. But who knows if that would even stop it.

  49. I’m not down with any type of bullying, but having played sports up to Division 1 in college myself I can’t believe this guy isn’t used to what goes on in a locker room. The insults they are talking about probably center around jokes about your mom and stuff like that and should be taken pretty lightly. The only time it gets worse is if you overreact to it, because then the guys know they have a button they can push.

    On a sidenote Martin doesn’t look like a small guy. Maybe if the insults are a bit too personal just take someone and slam them through a wall and it will die down. One thing that will get people’s attention and still the more personal jokes is if you draw a metaphorical line in the sand right around where you put someone through a wall.

  50. I knew there was more to the story when it first came out. What is wrong with people? They are grown men making millions of dollars and still feel the need to bully others?

  51. If a grown, 6 feet 5 inches tall, 312lb man can be bullied, what chance does a 5 foot nothing, 95lb kid have in schools today? It is a sad state of affairs. Bullying is an epidemic that needs to be squashed like Polio. I am OK with routine hazing as is common among teams, but when a person displays or verbalizes what they aren’t cool with, be an adult and back off.

  52. whooligun says:
    Oct 31, 2013 9:53 PM
    This whole issue has nothing to do with anyone being an openly gay athlete.

    It’s careless comments from the media like: “Incidents like this make it hard to believe that the NFL locker room is ready to accept an openly gay teammate” that aren’t helping things.
    —————————————
    When I said that, my post was deleted.

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