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Brian Hartline says Jonathan Martin was 'laughing' at voicemail

By Will Brinson | NFL Writer

Brian Hartline had some strong words on the Dolphins situation.
Brian Hartline had some strong words on the Dolphins situation. (USATSI)

Wednesday afternoon's media melee at the Dolphins facility in Davie, Fla., was full of surprising quotes. Ryan Tannehill said that Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin -- they're involved in a little hazing scandal, in case you missed that -- were "best friends" and that "Jonathan's like Richie's little brother." The quarterback was actually more subdued than his wide receiver Brian Hartline.

Hartline was fired-up during his session with the media and, while he remained calm, appeared angry with Martin, pointing out that the second-year lineman "was laughing about the voicemail" from Incognito that featured a racial slur.

"One, if I'm not mistaken, this was the same guy who was laughing about the voicemail at one point in time," Hartline said. "Second of all, if you go through the whole voicemail there are some things said that you probably shouldn't say in general, friends or not friends. But with that being said I never thought it was a death threat. I never thought he was going to do the things he said. If you can't take validity from one part of the voicemail how can you take validity from the whole -- you can't pick and choose which parts count and which parts don't.

In my mind I think it was something that was taken advantage of."

Asked to clarify his point about Martin "laughing" at the voicemail, Hartline said that it was being "passed around" at one point in time as a joke.

"I just remember I thought [the voicemail] was being passed around as a joke," Hartline said.

He echoed Tannehill's sentiments that the two players were friends and said they were "always playing around."

"Whenever I saw Jon and hung out with Jon it was usually with Richie because they were friends," Hartline said. "I've seen pictures of them on the plane playing around. They were always playing around. The O-line as a group was a big family."

Hartline backed up that opinion on social media when he retweeted a picture of Incognito and Martin together in New Orleans. Asked whether or not he could accept Martin back into the locker room, Hartline paused for a long time -- it was purposeful, really -- and basically took the Fifth.

"That's not my position to take on that," Hartline said. "I do have a position but I don't think it's [to share]."

Wednesday's media session with the Dolphins was a stunning turn in a bizarre sequence of events that has played out publicly. Suffice to say, this isn't the last public comment we'll hear from Dolphins players about the issue.

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