As the strange story of Dolphins offensive lineman Jonathan Martin leaving the team continues to unfold, teammate Richie Incognito is becoming a focal point of talk that Martin was harassed at his workplace.
Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter of ESPN report that Incognito’s alleged harassment of Martin is under review by the NFL Players Association. The NFLPA has recently expressed increasing concern about ensuring that its members treat each other with respect, both on the field (union chief DeMaurice Smith talked to Washington safety Brandon Meriweather about the importance of not targeting opposing players with excessive hits) and in the locker room, where Martin was reportedly bullied by teammates.
The ESPN report cites several unnamed sources as saying that Incognito was involved in the incident that led Martin to leave the team this week, and that Martin has been on the receiving end of harassment ever since last year, when the Dolphins drafted him in the second round.
However, ESPN also cites an unnamed Dolphins official who defended Incognito as a “model citizen.”
Although some members of the Dolphins have said that any hazing Martin received was typical locker room stuff, the players’ union says it is making the Martin case a high priority. As it should: Workplace harassment is unacceptable everywhere, including an NFL locker room.