Tampa, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross said he plans to meet with offensive tackle Jonathan Martin to see how he is doing and discuss claims that Martin was bullied and harassed by teammate Richie Incognito.
"We have been careful in our statements and in our comments, as we have not wanted to make a rush to judgment until we know all of the facts," Ross said in a statement Monday. "We still don't have a full picture of the facts. However, I want to be clear, that I and the Miami Dolphin organization are committed to getting to the bottom of this issue and making any necessary changes to improve our organization.
"In the past two weeks, our primary concern has been for Jonathan Martin. Immediately after learning that Jonathan left the team, I spoke with head coach Joe Philbin and Joe visited with Jonathan in person that evening. Over the ensuing days, both Joe and I reached out to Jonathan to express our concern and to offer our support. Jonathan and I have exchanged texts as recently as this weekend, and I am scheduled to meet with him in person to see how he is doing and to listen to his concerns."
Martin left the team prior to its Week 9 win over Cincinnati and Incognito was suspended by the Dolphins this past Monday.
Incognito gave an interview to FOX Sports for its NFL Sunday pregame show and denied bullying Martin, but added that he may have been too harsh and regrets using racist language in the messages he sent.
The NFL has begun an investigation into the workplace conduct within the Dolphins' organization, and Martin is expected to meet with league officials this week.
Ross said he will take all steps necessary to improve Miami's locker room culture.
"A final step is the creation of an independent advisory group to review our current organizational conduct policies and to make recommendations on areas for improvement," Ross said.
"I have asked former NFL Head Coaches Don Shula and Tony Dungy, along with former players Dan Marino, Curtis Martin and Jason Taylor, to be a part of this group and we will announce further additions in the coming days. Together, these men bring integrity, respect and diverse experiences to the discussion, some having just recently retired from the locker room. Joe Philbin and others will be a part of the process, as will current Dolphin players. I want to be clear: this effort is to improve the Miami Dolphins only and is not intended to be a blueprint for other franchises. The working group will begin its charge after the season."