Facing accusations that Miami Dolphins guard Richie Incognito harassed and bullied his teammate, offensive tackle Jonathan Martin, head coach Joe Philbin said Monday that he made the decision to suspend Incognito from the team.
Wilfredo Lee / AP
In this photo from Oct. 31, 2013, Miami Dolphins guard Richie Incognito (68) walks across the field for the second half of an NFL football game against the Cincinnati Bengals.
"Since April 10, 2012, when the players first came here and I was the head coach, every decision I've made, everything we've done in this facility has been done with one thing in mind," Philbin said at a news conference just after 4 p.m. Monday. "That's to help our players and our organization reach their full potential."
He added: "Any type of conduct, behavior that detracts from that objective is not acceptable and is not tolerated."
The remarks came after reports that 319-pound nine-year veteran Incognito sent 312-pound rookie Martin racist and threatening text messages, according to two people familiar with the situation who spoke to the Associated Press on the condition of anonymity.
The Dolphins and the NFL have yet to specify the nature of the misconduct that prompted Incognito's indefinite suspension late Sunday.
Related: Reports: Incognito left racial slur, death threat on Martin’s voicemail
The team and NFL officials are probing the accusations made by representatives for Martin, who left the team last week, that he was subjected to bullying and poor treatment.
At the news conference Monday, Philbin said that Miami owner Stephen Ross asked league commissioner Roger Goodell for help with the investigation. The NFL Players Association also planned to review the situation, according to the AP.
It was not immediately clear whether Dolphins coaches and management were aware of inappropriate conduct between players before Martin's exit. Philbin said Monday that neither Martin nor his family had alerted the team of any alleged misconduct.
Bill Feig / AP file
Miami Dolphins guard Richie Incognito, left, and tackle Jonathan Martin look up from the bench in the second half of an NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints in New Orleans, on Sept. 30, 2013.
Philbin declined to answer a question about locker-room behavior due to the ongoing probe.
Related: Joe Philbin: If NFL finds workplace not safe, I’ll fix it
"If the review shows that this is not a safe atmosphere, I will take whatever measures are necessary to ensure that it is," Philbin said. "I have that obligation to the players that I coach on a daily basis and I will do that."
Before being suspended, Incognito posted several tweets saying he wanted his name cleared.
"Three things cannot be long hidden: the sun, the moon, and the truth," Incognito tweeted, quoting Buddha.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
First published November 4 2013, 4:10 PM