Until this week, it hadn’t been publicly revealed that a woman working at a Dolphins golf outing a year and a half ago had accused offensive lineman Richie Incognito of battery. But Dolphins coach Joe Philbin says the team did deal with the matter privately, at the time it happened.
“We were made of aware of the situation, we took immediate action,” Philbin said today. “Any club action we took against any player would remain private.”
Of course, it’s not entirely true to say that “any club action” would remain private: After all, when the Dolphins took action against Incognito for harassing teammate Jonathan Martin, that action didn’t remain private. The Dolphins issued a public statement announcing the suspension. Perhaps if the Dolphins had suspended Incognito for his actions at the golf outing, he would have gotten the message that he needed to change his behavior. Instead, the Dolphins decided to keep the matter hush-hush. And even now, a year and a half later, Philbin won’t say what action the Dolphins took against Incognito at the time.
Philbin also said that Martin could have approached him at any time if he felt he was being mistreated by Incognito or other teammates.
“I believe I’m approachable to the players,” Philbin said.
Despite the distraction that the Incognito-Martin situation has caused, Philbin said his team’s focus is on Monday night’s game against the Buccaneers.
“We don’t get paid for distractions. We get paid to go out and perform. We have a big game on Monday night,” Philbin said.
It’s a game that the Dolphins may need to win in order to keep their season from spiraling out of control.