The Miami Dolphins have released a statement regarding the recent departure of starting left tackle Jonathan Martin, saying that recent reports regarding bullying or hazing are based on speculation and nothing more.
"The Miami Dolphins, including Coach Joe Philbin and Jonathan's teammates, have been in communication with Jonathan and his family since his departure from the club and continue to be in contact. Our primary concern for Jonathan is his overall health and well-being. As an organization, we take any accusations of player misconduct seriously. The notion of bullying is based on speculation and has not been presented to us as a concern from Jonathan or anyone else internally. The reports that the NFLPA is investigating our players are inaccurate. Additionally, the NFL offered its assistance during this time, which we appreciated and gladly accepted. We will continue to make Jonathan's health and well-being a focus as we do with all of our players."
Martin abruptly left the team facilities after an incident in the cafeteria that reportedly involved the offensive tackle slamming his tray and then immediately leaving after a "prank" that had teammates refusing to sit with the second-year player. According to a recent report, the NFLPA is investigating the role that guard Richie Incognito played in the incident.
The young lineman, who became the starting left tackle this season after the departure of Jake Long to free agency, has reportedly dealt with several issues related to hazing or bullying since joining the team in 2012. Yet Martin, through text messages with Incognito, says that he does not blame the players specifically but instead the "culture around football."
Martin has been placed on the non-football injury list and is expected to stay away from the team for a least the next several weeks.