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Two teammates deny bullying Miami Dolphins offensive tackle Jonathan Martin after reports of him being subjected to an abusive environment surfaced.
According to the Palm Beach Post, fellow Dolphins offensive linemen Tyson Clabo and Nate Garner told reporters they like having Martin as a teammate and look forward to playing alongside him again.
“I want him to come back to work,” Clabo said. “He’s a talented young football player. I can’t say what he’s feeling. I know if and when he wants to come back that I will be there to shake his hand.”
“He’s a great dude,” Garner said. “He’s a good ball player.”
Since Martin left the team facilities on Monday, stories about him being distraught after a lunch room prank have been circulating.
FoxSports.com reported Thursday night that Martin had been subjected to excessive bullying, but that the 6'5", 312-pound linemen probably felt challenging his teammates to fistfights wasn't the answer to the situation. Garner, however, said the teasing of Martin is something that goes on in any locker room.
If Martin’s teammates were only joking, the 23-year-old did not find it funny and neither did the Dolphins. The team had to list Martin, who played in every game since being drafted out of Stanford, on the injury report Thursday. The club is also concerned about the relationship between him and his teammates. No timetable has been given for his return.