Jonathan Martin, the Miami Dolphins player who left the team early in the 2013 season after what he called persistent harassment by teammates, finally spoke out about his experience. He spoke with former NFL coach Tony Dungy for the Today show.
"I'm a grown man. I've been in locker rooms. There's vulgar language used in locker rooms," Martin told Dungy. "One instance doesn't bother me. It's the persistence of it.
"I wish I would have had more tools to solve my situation, but I felt trapped, like I didn't have a way to make it right. It came down to a point where I felt it was best just to remove myself from the situation."
Martin said what bothered him were "comments of a racial nature, aggressive, sexual comments related to my sister and mother."
He said he played along with it for a while to fit in, even though friends on other teams told him him this is not normal.
"I worked hard to be friends with Richie Incognito and others. I think it's important building friendships with your teammates. So I turned the microscope back on myself: What am I doing wrong being treated this?"
Martin said he didn't talk to the head coach, Joe Philbin, but that "members of the organization" knew he was struggling.
Dungy asked Martin if he is ready to return to football, and Martin said, "I don't think there is any question."
Martin's allegations led to the suspension of Miami center Richie Incognito. The NFL investigated Martin's claims, and the Dolphins are still awaiting their report. Incognito spoke to friend Jay Glazer for a Fox Sports report, but the edited interview shed little light on the problems in the Dolphins locker room.