James Walker | ESPN.com
Philbin took the blame for the environment that was created in his locker room, which forced Martin to leave the team last week following a lunchroom incident. The usually docile Philbin became somewhat emotional Monday while addressing the media.
“I want you to know as head coach of the Miami Dolphins, I am in charge of the workplace atmosphere,” Philbin said. “Since April 10, 2012, when players first came here. … Every decision I’ve made, everything we’ve done at this facility was done with one thing in mind: that is to help our players and our organization to reach their full potential. Any type of conduct and behavior that detracts from that objective will not be tolerated.”
ESPN and various media reports highlighted Incognito’s persistent harassment and bullying of Martin over the past year and a half. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the contents of one voice mail from Incognito that included a racial slur and physical threats. The Dolphins suspended Incognito indefinitely Sunday once representatives from Martin presented the team with their concerns.
Multiple sources confirmed to ESPN that the following is a transcript of a voice message Incognito left for Martin in April 2013, a year after Martin was drafted:
“Hey, wassup, you half n—– piece of s—. I saw you on Twitter, you been training 10 weeks. [I want to] s— in your f—ing mouth. [I’m going to] slap your f—ing mouth. [I’m going to] slap your real mother across the face [laughter]. F— you, you’re still a rookie. I’ll kill you.”
With more than 75 media members in attendance, Philbin made the Martin situation personal, comparing it to his children.
“You know, two of my children go to school right behind here at the university school,” Philbin said. “As a parent, when they walk in those doors, I have certain expectations with administration, with the teachers and the staff that they will create a safe atmosphere where my children can learn and develop as people. This is no different. I take this responsibility very serious.”
Philbin said Dolphins owner Stephen Ross has been in contact with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to examine the situation. Philbin would not answer whether he knew about Martin’s troubles before he left the team. Philbin would say only that it will be looked into by the NFL.
On Monday, Philbin led a team meeting to address workplace conduct.
“It was just more to address the situation for what it is,” Dolphins veteran cornerback Dimitri Patterson said of the meeting. “Obviously things have hit the media, and he didn’t want it to be where we got bombarded. It was communication by the head coach.”
- A Temple graduate and Hyattsville, Md., native who lives in Miami
- Joined ESPN in 2008