With the atmosphere of the Miami Dolphins' locker room under intense scrutiny, quarterback Ryan Tannehill made the surprising claim that Jonathan Martin and Richie Incognito were friends as recently as two weeks ago. The Dolphins have been embroiled in a bullying scandal since Martin abruptly left the team last week to receive treatment for emotional distress. In the aftermath of Martin's departure, Incognito was suspended amid reports that he left threatening voice and text messages for his teammate that included racial slurs.
"If you had asked Jonathan Martin a week before, who his best friend in on this team was, he would have said Richie Incognito," Tannehill told reporters on Wednesday. "The first guy to stand up for Jonathan when anything went down on the field, any kind of tussle, Richie was the first guy there. When they wanted to hang out outside of football, who was together, Richie and Jonathan... I'm not in those guy's shoes. I can't explain what's going on."
With the NFL investigating the allegations of bullying and hazing and the NFLPA monitoring those allegations, several Dolphins players have been offering support for Incognito rather than Martin.
"All I know about Richie is that he's a great teammate to me," Tannehill said on Wednesday, via NFL.com. "I saw him be 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. He brought a lot of laughter to this locker room. He brought a lot of cohesiveness to this locker room. He was the best teammate I could ask for."
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