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Bullied NFL Lineman Breaks His Silence, Says He Wants to Play Football Again

"...I look forward to working through the process and resuming my career in the National Football League."

FILE - In this Dec. 16, 2012 file photo, Miami Dolphins tackle Jonathan Martin (71) watches from the sidelines during the second half of an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, in Miami. In the stadium program sold at the 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/Wilfredo Lee, File) AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File

Story by the Associated Press; curated by Dave Urbanski

NEW YORK (AP) — Jonathan Martin spent nearly seven hours going into "great detail" with the NFL counsel investigating his claims of his harassment in the Miami Dolphins' locker room. What came up in their talks, he isn't saying for now.

He would say this: He still wants to play in the NFL.

Miami Dolphins tackle Jonathan Martin (71) watches from the sidelines during the second half of an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, in Miami. (Image source: AP/Wilfredo Lee)

Martin — in town because the league is trying to gather information about the bullying he says he was subjected to by teammate Richie Incognito — arrived at the Manhattan office building of special investigator Ted Wells on Friday morning, and didn't emerge until shortly after sunset. Mobbed by media, he stood in the camera lights and read a statement.

"Although I went into great detail with Mr. Ted Wells and his team, I do not intend to discuss this matter publicly at this time," Martin said. "This is the right way to handle the situation.

"Beyond that, I look forward to working through the process and resuming my career in the National Football League."

After that, he and attorney David Cornwell went back into the building, later leaving via a side exit.

Incognito has acknowledged leaving a voicemail for Martin in April in which he used a racial slur, threatened to kill his teammate and threatened to slap Martin's mother. Incognito has said he regrets the racist and profane language, but said it stemmed from a culture of locker-room "brotherhood," not bullying.

Miami Dolphins guard Richie Incognito watches during an NFL football practice at the Dolphins training facility in Davie, Fla. (Image source: AP/Wilfredo Lee)

Incognito is white and Martin is biracial. Teammates, both black and white, have said Incognito is not a racist, and they've been more supportive of the veteran guard than they have of Martin.

Incognito has been suspended by the Dolphins. He filed a grievance Thursday against the team over his suspension, and has said his conduct was part of the normal locker-room environment.

Dolphins owner Stephen Ross also plans to meet with Martin, who said Friday that he will indeed get together with the Dolphins' front office. On Monday, Ross said two committees would examine the locker-room culture. Players have been virtually unanimous in saying it doesn't need to be changed.

At Dolphins practice Friday, long snapper John Denney, the team's players' union representative, was asked about problems.

"I can't say I saw it firsthand because I'm not an offensive lineman, and I'm not in their offensive line room. I can tell you from my perspective, and having been in this locker room, I never saw it coming," he said. "I can say that. It was a surprise to me. There did not seem to be an increase in behavioral problems. It's been the same here my entire career."

Coach Joe Philbin also talked to reporters but kept his focus on football.

"I believe in the guys we have in the locker room," he said. "I believed in them before this all took place, before all this scrutiny came upon us.

"And I believe in them today."

Martin alleges he was harassed daily by teammates, including Incognito, and the case has raised questions about job security for Philbin, his assistants and general manager Jeff Ireland.

Philbin won a vote of confidence this week from Ross, but that could change depending on the findings of Wells, who was brought into the situation last week. Wells is expected in Miami next week to talk with Dolphins players, coaches and staff.

Wells will determine the role of Philbin, his staff and Miami management in the case, and his report will be made public. One issue is whether anyone on the coaching staff ordered Incognito to "toughen up" Martin, a second-year tackle from Stanford who became a starter as a rookie but played poorly at times.

Martin left the team two weeks ago and has been with family in California undergoing counseling for emotional issues.

The case inspired a national debate about workplace bullying and attracted a daily throng of 100 media members or more at the Dolphins complex. In Manhattan, both CNN and Fox News Channel were on hand outside the meeting.

Here's video of Martin's statement to the media Friday:

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