So much for Jonathan Martin being concerned about retribution.
On Sunday, the representatives of the Dolphins tackle provided evidence to the team supporting Martin’s contention that he was harassed, specifically by guard Richie Incognito and more generally by the culture of the team’s locker room.
The decision to promptly suspend Incognito for conduct detrimental to the team necessarily means that the evidence tendered by Martin’s camp was strong, and that it was clear. The evidence is believed to include text messages from Incognito to Martin and at least one voice message.
The plain terms of the team’s statement indicate that Incognito wasn’t merely suspended pending further investigation. The Dolphins already have determined that Incognito engaged in conduct detrimental to the team. Under the Collective Bargaining Agreement, a team may suspend a player up to four weeks without pay for detrimental conduct. The NFL also may impose discipline for violations of the personal conduct policy and/or other league rules and policies.
The NFL will review the situation, which means the NFL will investigate. Incognito has rights under the CBA, and he will be entitled to oppose the team-imposed suspension.
While the full story has not yet been told, it’s obvious that the Dolphins have seen and heard enough to believe that Incognito did something wrong, despite his recent rant on Twitter in which he demanded that his name be cleared.
For now, his name has been cleared — indefinitely from the team’s roster.