If you haven’t watched the Jonathan Martin interview with Tony Dungy, you don’t need to. It’s a waste of time. You can go here if you would like to formulate that opinion on your own and thus waste an entire half hour of your life. If I’m Stephen Ross one listen to this interview would have me scrambling my attorneys to get ready for a lawsuit. It’s coming.
Martin’s interview was 30 minutes of the most contrived, legally prepared bulls@&t I have heard in quite awhile. You could almost picture his attorney parents, especially his mother standing off camera holding cue cards. Martin must have said about 100 times that he “just wants to get back to football” or “I am a football player” or “I just want to get back to playing”. When he wasn’t reminding everyone that he is a multi-100,000.00 a year NFL baller, he was telling you that “I just needed to remove myself from the situation.” Over and over and over and over again.
Martin didn’t come across close to being a victim but instead came across as being a guy who has been well prepared for a one direction examination. He knew the questions beforehand it was clear but on the one occasion Dungy pushed a little harder, when he asked about whether or not he and Richie Incognito were friends, Martin could only answer “I tried to be.” When Dungy put it point blank, “were you and Richie friends?” Martin could only say, “I tried to be”. Not with a wince of pain or hurt feelings but with a smile and a small chuckle.
“All rise, the case of Jonathan Martin and his family vs. the Stephen Ross and the Miami Dolphins will now begin”.
What Martin should have said in response to Dungy’s questions was simple, “On advice of council I can not answer that question”. There is zero mistaking the direction that this is going to go. This one is going to go to court. Martin has already lost a lot in the eye of public perception and when Dungy pressed him on the reactions of his fellow players sticking up for Richie he simply said they didn’t know all the details. They still apparently don’t.
While Incognito is being accused of sending vulgar text messages to Martin and for having made vulgar remarks about Martin’s family, Martin himself sent texts threatening to kill Incognito’s family and to “ejaculate” on his face. Apparently the urge to “fit in” superseded his good taste. Then again, the very incident that caused him to childishly slam his tray and pout out of the teams facility was a prank he himself had done to others before.
From where this writer sits I see this is a situation that was born from Martin’s parents. I see this is as a coaxed effort to set himself up for a lawsuit against a team that he didn’t want to play for. Set himself up for removal from a team that had just demoted him from the left side to the right. A move that would almost certainly cost him millions on his next deal. Martin appeared for this interview trying not to defend himself, not to explain himself, but simply to speak because the attorneys felt the time was right.
The only coach that Martin fingered in this ordeal is Jim Turner and the teams former assistant who is no longer with the team. When asked if he had gone to Philbin he said no. Something Dungy asked if he felt a lack of trust was the issue between player and coach. Martin had no answer.
The case of Martin vs. Incognito is nowhere close to conclusion and will be yet another black eye on Stephen Ross and the franchise that he oversees. Litigation is the next step following the Ted Wells report that should be made public within the next two weeks. After that? Ross better have a set of good defense attorney’s at the ready.