There are very few men that can get the biggest stars in sports to talk to them candidly on camera. One of those men is former Tampa Bay Bucs and Indianapolis Colts head coach Tony Dungy. He now is an analyst with NBC Sports and when people want to talk they come to him.
Case in point was today when Miami Dolphin offensive lineman Jonathan Martin who left the team because of being bullied broke his self imposed silence.
The complete interview can be seen at 6:30 p.m. tonight on Pro Football Talk which airs on NBC Sports Network.
However on NBC News and also on the Today Show parts of the interview aired earlier today and here are some of the highlights.
He told Dungy that he wants to return to the NFL. He also candidly told Dungy that racial, aggressive and sexually charged comments all played a role in his departure from the Miami Dolphins.
Martin also said he was not the only victim of hazing in the Dolphins’ locker room.
“There are other people that got it too,” Martin said. “I can’t say why I may have gotten more.”
Dungy is part of a committee assigned by Dolphins owner Stephen Ross to review the team’s code of conduct, and Dungy said on NBC’s “Today” show that he has spoken with three general managers who believe Martin will have the chance to play again.
“They all said he’s a good player. He’ll get an opportunity,” Dungy said. “But they’re all afraid of the scrutiny that comes with it. He’s got to get to the right environment, not a place like the Miami locker room was.”
Here are some more of the highlights that you will see tonight:
That teammates directed comments of racial and aggressive nature toward him, as well as sex-related comments about his mother and sister.
That he contacted friends on other NFL teams, and that they agreed the level of hazing he alleged to have taken place with the Dolphins exceeded what’s typical in a locker-room culture.
“I have no problem with the normal hazing that you see in the NFL, get a haircut, stuff like that, little pranks,” Martin said. “But of a personal, attacking nature, I don’t think there’s any place for that.”
“I understand opportunities in the NFL are fleeting,” Martin said. “I’m hopeful that I get another opportunity and I’m going to make the most of it because this is what I love to do. I don’t know what I would do if I wasn’t playing football.”