Jonathan Martin sat down with NBC Sports and Tony Dungy this week to shed some light on the saga that was infamously tabbed “Bullygate.” Instead, anyone who still cares about the events which led to Martin slamming a lunch tray down and abruptly leaving the Miami Dolphins in October remained left in the dark.
Unfortunately for Martin and any attempt of his to remain at the center of attention, few have any remote interest left in claims that he was bullied by Richie Incognito and other teammates. Those who still do are probably growing impatient after Martin wasn’t willing to go into details about his medical condition or what event actually sent him over the edge.
According to Martin, he didn’t even reveal specifics when he supposedly told his coaches that he was struggling with an issue in the weeks leading up to the controversy. Well, the details are crucial. If the Dolphins were expected to take action, Martin needed to disclose the details with his position coaches and head coach Joe Philbin. If Martin wanted to hang on to the general public’s sympathy, he needed to sit down and explain the details — not just with Dungy this week, but months ago.
Instead, everything Martin has said and everything that he’s done since leaving the Dolphins has appeared to be a calculated attempt to form a lawsuit. Well, Martin may not have much of a case after the party he is accusing of wrongdoing, Incognito, was willing to disclose some details of his own.
Incognito reportedly handed text messages over to Ted Wells, who conducted a thorough investigation of the Dolphins’ organization after “Bullygate” hit airwaves, which revealed that Martin was doing exactly what he was accusing others of.
According to reports, Martin sent Incognito several messages that included violent and sexual threats. At the time, Incognito took it all as a joke as he perceived Martin was doing. As foul and as confusing as that “friendship” may appear, it was the reality and what was accepted as normal practice inside the Dolphins’ locker room. If Martin didn’t agree with it, he shouldn’t have played along. It’s as simple as that and nothing more.
Wells is scheduled to release a report after the Super Bowl documenting everything he discovered during his probe of Miami’s facility, players and staff. If something groundbreaking surfaces then, maybe it will be appropriate to re-open this discussion. Chances are, though, if anything occurred that was more severe than what’s already been reported, it would have leaked by now.
With that, barring any new insight, it’s time to officially close the book on the “saga” once and for all. Dolphins fans are sick of hearing about it. Fans of rival teams to the Dolphins are sick of hearing about it. The sporting world is sick of hearing about it.
The more it’s talked about, the more ESPN and other networks obsess over it, the worse Martin looks. It’s time for Martin to apologize and step away from the spotlight. It’s time for him to reveal what’s really going on with his mental state and refrain from using Incognito and others as a scapegoat. It’s time for “Bullygate” to go away — forever.
Cody Strahm is a Miami Dolphins contributor for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @CodyJStrahm.