BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Big guys who bully. The NFL is investigating whether rookies are being threatened. It all comes after a Miami Dolphins player walked off the team, saying hazing had taken an ugly turn.
Kai Jackson reports.
Jonathan Martin, 24, graduated from Stanford University before becoming a tackle on the Miami Dolphins.
“On the field, players have called me overly aggressive,” said Dolphin guard Richie Incognito.
That aggressiveness may have been both on and off the field. Incognito has been suspended for allegedly threatening Martin and his family using racial slurs.
Martin left the team last week after a lunchroom prank that was apparently the last straw.
CBS Sports analyst Jason LaConfora says he has seen text messages Incognito sent to Martin.
“Threats of `I’m gonna get your mother. I’m going to find your mother. I’m going to kill you.’ That is above and beyond what is accepted anywhere,” LaConfora said.
Now the NFL will conduct a workplace review.
“If the review shows that this is not a safe atmosphere, I will take whatever measures are necessary to ensure that it is,” said Miami Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin.
Incognito’s record has not gone unnoticed. In his four years, he led the league penalties for unnecessary roughness. NFL players voted him the league’s dirtiest player in 2009.
As the HBO Hard Knocks video shows, hazing seems part of the rite of passage for NFL rookies, and Dolphins players said they didn’t notice any locker room hostility.
“I don’t feel like anybody was being bullied, hazed, none of that. I feel like we were doing things that football teams do, playing with your brothers,” said Dolphins wide receiver Mike Wallace.
Incognito Tweeted Sunday, “Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon and the truth.”
Incognito joined the Dolphins in 2009 after being let go by the St. Louis Rams following a verbal altercation with the head coach.
So far, Jonathan Martin has not publicly commented on what happened to him.
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