Sports

Players divided as to whether Jonathan Martin responded correctly in Dolphins harassment case

  • FILE - In this July 22, 2013, file photo, Miami Dolphins tackle Jonathan Martin in interviewed after an NFL football practice in Davie, Fla. In the stadium program sold at the Miami Dolphins' game on Halloween, Richie Incognito was asked who's the easiest teammate to scare. His answer: Jonathan Martin.  The troubled, troubling relationship between the two offensive linemen took an ominous turn Monday, Nov. 4, 2013, with fresh revelations: Incognito sent text messages to his teammate that were racist and threatening, two people familiar with the situation said.(AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)

    FILE - In this July 22, 2013, file photo, Miami Dolphins tackle Jonathan Martin in interviewed after an NFL football practice in Davie, Fla. In the stadium program sold at the Miami Dolphins' game on Halloween, Richie Incognito was asked who's the easiest teammate to scare. His answer: Jonathan Martin. The troubled, troubling relationship between the two offensive linemen took an ominous turn Monday, Nov. 4, 2013, with fresh revelations: Incognito sent text messages to his teammate that were racist and threatening, two people familiar with the situation said.(AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • Miami Dolphins coach Joe Philbin talks to the media during a news conference after practice at the Dolphins training center in Davie, Fla., Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013. NFL officials launched an investigation to try and determine who knew what and when about the troubled relationship between offensive lineman Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)

    Miami Dolphins coach Joe Philbin talks to the media during a news conference after practice at the Dolphins training center in Davie, Fla., Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013. NFL officials launched an investigation to try and determine who knew what and when about the troubled relationship between offensive lineman Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)  (The Associated Press)

  • Miami Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland, left, stands with head trainer Kevin O'Neill, right, during the NFL football team's practice Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013, in Davie, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

    Miami Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland, left, stands with head trainer Kevin O'Neill, right, during the NFL football team's practice Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2013, in Davie, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)  (The Associated Press)

In a culture that fosters conflict, Jonathan Martin has tried to avoid it.

Coping with day-to-day treatment he considered abusive, the Miami Dolphins tackle let the situation fester for months before leaving the team last week. Martin's agent then complained to the Dolphins, who suspended guard Richie Incognito.

The NFL is investigating whether Incognito harassed or bullied Martin, and whether their teammates and the organization mishandled the situation. In the macho world of the pro football, some players believe Martin should have responded more firmly.

Dolphins players have robustly defended Incognito, now a notorious national villain, saying he and Martin behaved like best friends. They've been less passionate in their support of Martin.

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