The reports that an abusive environment led Dolphins offensive lineman Jonathan Martin to leave the team has been denied by some of his teammates.
Fellow Dolphins offensive linemen Tyson Clabo and Nate Garner both told the Palm Beach Post they like having Martin as a teammate and look forward to playing alongside him again.
“I want him to come back to work,” Clabo said. “He’s a talented young football player. I can’t say what he’s feeling. I know if and when he wants to come back that I will be there to shake his hand.”
Garner said any teasing Martin took from teammates was “normal stuff” that goes on in any locker room and not an indication that his teammates dislike him.
“He’s a great dude,” Garner said. “He’s a good ball player.”
Of course, just because teammates perceived what they were doing as normal stuff doesn’t mean Martin perceived it that way. If anything positive can come from this incident, perhaps football players can consider that even talk that seems like “normal stuff” in the locker room can still be hurtful.