Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross addressed the media in a press conference prior to Monday night's game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He elaborated on the bullying scandal his team is embroiled in, as well as offering more information on the team's plans moving forward. Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald collected much of the press conference on Twitter.
The organization is currently being examined by the NFL to see if there are any other improprieties that are causing hostility in the workplace. Ross plans to meet with Jonathan Martin this week to understand his side of the events that led him to leave the team. Ross chose to avoid any definitive judgement on offensive guard Richie Incognito, saying he wanted to "wait to hear all the facts."
Ross said there would be no "racial slurs of bullying" in his workplace moving forward. To achieve his goal he is putting together an independent team charged with creating a new code of conduct policy that would be developed "for the 21st century." This group includes Tony Dungy, Don Shula, Dan Marino, Jason Taylor and Curtis Martin -- three prior members of the Dolphins' organization with Dungy and Martin serving as outside advisers.
Despite the latest issues in Miami, the team's owner did not outline any plan for changes in his front office. Ross said head coach Joe Philbin has his "total, utmost confidence." While indicating that general manager Jeff Ireland would serve on another committee tasked with overhauling the team's locker room. Ross also referred to the text message exchanges between Incognito and Martin, surprised at their contents, per Beasley.
"I was appalled. I think anybody would be appalled. When you first read the text. I didn't realize that people would speak that way."
Incognito held his first interview with Jay Glazer for Fox Sports on Sunday in which the offensive guard said his interactions with Martin "came from a place of love." There has been no official statement from Martin at this time outside of releases by his lawyers to clear up what they allege to be misconceptions about their client.