The latest news out of the Miami Dolphins suggests that complaints about bullying from Jonathan Martin's representation to the team's general manager fell on deaf ears.
NBC Sports' ProFootballTalk reported late Wednesday night that Martin's agent Kenny Zuckerman called GM Jeff Ireland after Martin left the team on Oct. 28. Zuckerman issued a complaint to Ireland about the way Dolphins player Richie Incognito had treated Martin.
According to PFT, Ireland told Zuckerman that Martin should confront Incognito, adding that he should "punch" the veteran guard and member of the team's player leadership council.
Dolphins senior vice president of media relations Harvey Greene declined to comment to PFT about the story, citing the NFL's ongoing review of the saga.
Incognito’s alleged harassment of his teammate Martin, and the fallout from it, continues to dominate the football world. On Thursday it was the main topic of discussion at the weekly Touchdown Club meeting at Bokamper’s Sports Bar & Grill.
"It was just a perfect storm for the Dolphins,” said Shawn Wooden, a former player on the team. “You had a guy that I feel is a very alpha male in Incognito, and then you have another guy that maybe just didn't fit in, didn't get along with the locker room, and like I said, this can happen anywhere.”
Jimmy Cefalo, who is a former player, the radio voice of the Dolphins, a talk show host and a former sportscaster, says the news media jumped the gun with the story.
"Partial facts, first to the story, get it on the air first, let's make sure we're out ahead of this,” Cefalo said.
He added, "I am thoroughly disgusted with the profession that I was proud to call my life's work."
Speaking publicly for the first time since the scandal broke last week, multiple Dolphins players came to the defense of Incognito and the team's culture on Wednesday.
"All I know about Richie is he's a great teammate to me," QB Ryan Tannehill said. "I saw him being a great teammate all the time. Does he like to give guys a hard time? Yes. Does he like to pester guys and have fun? Yes. But he brought a lot of laughter to this locker room, he brought a lot of cohesiveness to this locker room and he was the best teammate that I could ask for."
"What's been bothering me is kind of things that you hear from outside this locker room about things that maybe undermine the integrity or the leadership or the type of players and the class of guys that we have here and the class of this organization," defensive end Cameron Wake said. "I've been here five years and coach [Joe] Philbin has done nothing but turn this organization in a positive direction from top to bottom."
Head coach Joe Philbin said he will continue to make respect and accountability paramount within the locker room.
"The type of culture that I've championed since the day I've walked through these doors has been one of honesty, respect and accountability to one another," Philbin said. "I consider those to be hallmarks of this program, and I believe our locker room reflects those beliefs. I believe in the men in our locker room, and I believe in our coaching staff."
Dolphins owner Stephen Ross said Wednesday the team will cooperate fully with the NFL's investigation, led by New York attorney Ted Wells.