Jonathan Martin of the Miami Dolphins will meet with NFL investigators on Friday in New York, NBC News has learned. Image of Richie Incognito is inset at right.
Jonathan Martin is expected to tell his side of a story that has rocked the NFL on Friday during a meeting with officials conducting the NFL's investigation of charges that he was bullied by Miami Dolphins teammates.
NBC News has learned that Martin and Ted Wells, the New York attorney heading the probe, will meet Friday at Wells' office. The meeting will come 18 days after Martin stormed out of Dolphins facilities following a cafeteria prank.
A week later, fellow offensive lineman Richie Incognito was suspended indefinitely by the team after Martin's representatives shared threatening and racially charged messages Incognito left for their client.
The Dolphins also asked the NFL to conduct an investigation of the charges that Incognito had bullied Martin over a prolonged period of time. The league appointed Wells to lead the investigation, and neither player has rejoined the team.
Incognito broke his silence on Sunday, giving an interview to Fox Sports. He cited the culture of the Dolphins' locker room for his strong language, saying he was one of Martin's biggest defenders on the team.
On Monday, Dolphins owner Stephen Ross announced that he planned to meet with Martin two days later, but that meeting was postponed at the request of the NFL. Ross also announced the creation of a committee to create a new code of conduct for the team. Former Dolphin greats Dan Marino, Don Shula, and Jason Taylor are among those who will serve on the committee.
Though Martin has not spoken publicly since the scandal broke, his lawyer David Cornwell has released some details of the bullying claims. He issued a statement Thursday night with text of another threatening message from a teammate, also alleging that Martin "endured a malicious physical attack on him by a teammate."
The scandal in the Dolphins locker room, combined with the team's poor play as of late (they have lost 5 of 6 games) could end up costing several team officials their jobs. Ross gave head coach Joe Philbin a vote of confidence in his Monday press conference, but made no mention of general manager Jeff Ireland.
Ireland has come under increased scrutiny by fans fed up with the team's mediocre record during his tenure. A group of fans announced they will fly a banner above Sun Life Stadium calling on Ross to fire Ireland on Sunday when Miami hosts the San Diego Chargers.
Ireland was also the subject of a prank himself when his business card with personal contact information was posted on Twitter.
Labor lawyers Michael Volpe and Nicholas Reiter (of Venable LLP in New York) told the Associated Press Thursday that the team could also end up facing lawsuits due to the controversy. "Even if the Dolphins were unaware of Incognito's alleged behavior, which may be the case, the organization could still face claims of liability," they said.