Jonathan Martin, the NFL tackle who left his team to get emotional help after what he said was bullying by a teammate, arrived Friday at a Manhattan office to talk to the lawyer appointed by the league to investigate the saga.
Martin was accompanied by a lawyer of his own and a woman. He did not speak with reporters.
He was there to talk to Ted Wells, who was appointed by the NFL to determine whether Richie Incognito, a teammate of Martin’s on the Miami Dolphins, bullied or otherwise harassed him.
Incognito was suspended by the Dolphins on Nov. 3. He admitted, in an interview with Fox Sports, that he left Martin a threatening voice mail tirade laced with expletives, including the N-word.
Incognito said that he was embarrassed, but that people misunderstand the context of the locker room, and that he “had Jon Martin’s back the most.” Other teammates have defended Incognito.
The NFL players union said Thursday that Incognito had filed a grievance over his suspension. Incognito has said that Martin sent him a threatening text, too, a week before the harassment story broke.
Wells, the lawyer looking into the uproar, is a former high school football star and civil rights activist and among the most prominent attorneys in New York. He has defended former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer and Republican insider Lewis “Scooter” Libby and has investigated claims of sex abuse within the Syracuse University men's basketball program.
Sources familiar with the matter told NBC News that Martin would not have a representative of the players union with him for the meeting with Wells.
Stephen Ross, the owner of the Dolphins, has formed two committees to study the locker room culture of the team. He told reporters earlier this week: “Changes need to be made. We need to examine everything internally.”
First published November 15 2013, 5:11 PM