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Lawyer: Martin's treatment went far beyond hazing
(SportsNetwork.com) - On Thursday night, lawyer David Cornwell issued a statement on behalf of Dolphins tackle Jonathan Martin.
"Jonathan Martin's toughness is not at issue," Cornwell said in the statement. "Jonathan has started every game with the Miami Dolphins since he was drafted in 2012. At Stanford, he was the anchor for Jim Harbaugh's 'smash mouth' brand of football and he protected Andrew Luck's blind side.
"The issue is Jonathan's treatment by his teammates. Jonathan endured harassment that went far beyond the traditional locker room hazing. For the entire season-and-a-half that he was with the Dolphins, he attempted to befriend the same teammates who subjected him to the abuse with the hope that doing so would end the harassment. This is a textbook reaction of victims of bullying. Despite these efforts, the taunting continued. Beyond the well- publicized voice mail with its racial epithet, Jonathan endured a malicious physical attack on him by a teammate, and daily vulgar comments such as the quote at the bottom. These facts are not in dispute.
"Eventually, Jonathan made a difficult choice. Despite his love for football, Jonathan left the Dolphins. Jonathan looks forward to getting back to playing football. In the meantime, he will cooperate fully with the NFL investigation."
The statement also included an alleged vulgar quote from an anonymous teammate directed at Martin's sister.
Dolphins offensive guard Richie Incognito is accused of using a racial slur against Martin and threatening violence against him and his mother in a voicemail Martin turned over to the NFL, which is investigating the matter.
Martin, a second-round draft pick in 2012, has sought treatment for emotional distress. Incognito has been suspended indefinitely by the team.
"I continue to be in touch with players in Miami, their representatives and player leadership, and I look forward to information that defines the full scope of the NFL's investigation," NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith said in a statement Thursday. "Every NFL player should expect safe and professional working conditions. The NFLPA has taken steps to ensure that every one of our affected members is represented. It is our duty as a union to learn the full facts, protect the interests of players involved and hold management accountable to the highest standards of fairness and transparency."
11/08 03:16:46 ET