The Jonathan Martin bullying scandal currently plaguing the Miami Dolphins exploded over the weekend with networks and local outlets all offering fresh reporting on the story. In case you've been vacationing out of the country for the past week, here's the timeline of what's happened so far.
Second year lineman Jonathan Martin left the team before their Thursday night game with the Bengals due to a reported bullying situation and a prank gone wrong.
On Friday, Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen of ESPN reported that Dolphins teammate Richie Incognito was at the center of a bullying investigation and that the behavior had extended into last season when Martin was a rookie. The same day, Jeff Darlington of NFL Network (who wrote an extensive profile on Incognito turning his life and career around) reported texts from Martin to Incognito that seemed to paint a better relationship between the two.
Saturday, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported it wasn't bullying, but rather that Martin was dealing with "emotional issues."
On Sunday, a wave of new reports and statements emerged that depicted something different.
CBS's Jason La Canfora reported Incognito's role as the ring-leader in the bullying scandal amidst other unseemly behavior in the Dolphins locker room.
Sunday morning the Dolphins released a statement saying reports of bullying was speculation, but it wouldn't be their last statement of the day.
Incognito took to Twitter to blast Adam Schefter for his reporting and that he wanted his name "CLEARED." Also, he told Schefty to #BRINGIT, probably not the best choice of hashtags for someone in the middle of an alleged bullying scandal:
For his part, Schefter filed another report saying Incognito forced Martin to pay $15,000 for a trip to Las Vegas he didn't even participate in and that Martin feared retribution from Incognito in the Dolphins locker room for what has transpired.
Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald had details on the situation going well beyond Martin and to other younger players in the Dolphins locker room nearly going broke by being forced to always foot the bill for veterans. This included a Dolphins rookie paying for a $30,000 team dinner.
Sunday night, the Dolphins suspended Incognito indefinitely amidst a tidal wave of reports implicating him at the center of the controversy.
The story took a disturbing turn when Fox's Mike Garafolo reported that Incognito sent Martin texts and voicemails that were threatening and racially charged in nature on Fox Sports Live. It took a bizarre turn when Deadspin built a pretty convincing case that Incognito's dad was posting on Dolphins message boards defending his son and blasting Martin.
Furthermore, a scroll through social media archives revealed these interactions between Martin and Incognito on Twitter throughout the past year with Incognito repeatedly calling Martin a weirdo and an Instagram pic that seem relevant considering all the above information.
— Richie incognito (@68INCOGNITO) January 2, 2013
Shout out to @J_Martin71 for being the biggest weirdo I know
— Richie incognito (@68INCOGNITO) August 30, 2013
And that's where things stand at the moment. As this Martin-Incognito situation has evolved and grown into arguably the biggest story this week in the NFL, it's been fascinating to see so many outlets gain real estate in reporting in the matter. From the likes of Adam Schefter and Chris Mortensen at ESPN, to local beat writers covering the team, to the various networks that cover the NFL and reporters like Jason La Canfora and Mike Garofolo, to blogs, social media, and message boards. There's information regarding this story at nearly every level of media. It's a window into the current media landscape that is wider and deeper and more capable to report details than ever before. And, with so many networks and outlets dedicating resources specifically to NFL reporters and not just ex-players, there's many more high-profile journalists on this case than there might be in other sports. With so many people investigating this story, there's sure to be even more information to emerge in the coming days.
UPDATE: Monday around noon Jason La Canfora reported details of the texts and voicemails from Incognito to Martin that contained threats to Martin's family and racial slurs. Adam Schefter transcribed one of the voicemails on Twitter that ended like this.
4. Incognito to Martin, all on same VM in April 2013: "(Expletive) you, you're still a rookie. I'll kill you."
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 4, 2013
UPDATE II: Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald reports that Incognito's time with the Dolphins is for all intents and purposes over.