For the first time since the hazing incident between Jonathan Martin and Richie Incognito went down, Dolphins owner Stephen Ross spoke with the media. Ross said he was "appalled" by the incident and also revealed that he's meeting with Martin on Wednesday.
The owner intends to get "the whole origin" of what happened from Martin when they meet (at an undisclosed location)
"I'll be meeting with Jonathan Martin on Wednesday," Ross said Monday afternoon. "I'd like to hear from what happened, why he felt that way, and the whole origin. And what we could've done to prevent something like this from happening. I want to hear the circumstances and the facts."
Clearly Ross, as the team's owner, didn't appreciate seeing what came out in public about his team. Asked what his initial reaction to the voicemail left by Incognito to Martin, Ross said ...
"I was appalled. I think anybody would be appalled," Ross said. "When you first read the text that was reported. To me I didn't realize that people would talk, text or speak that way to people."
Ross also said that he would "probably" meet with Incognito
"I want to hear all the facts. We'll deal with that," Ross said. "That's why we've been trying to talk with Jonathan Martin. Yes, probably. He deserves to be heard."
Ross wasn't entirely convincing when it came to meeting with Incognito. But he was convincing when it came to making changes -- however necessary -- in order to ensure that the Dolphins don't run into an incident like this in the future. Ross noted that there's been a five-man panel established to try and prepare for change moving forward.
"I plan on being very proactive. I have asked and formed a committee," Ross said. "I hope to expand it to seven or nine to protect the players from my overreacting. And having a code of conduct that suits the 21st century. We know the world today is changing and we all have to adopt to change."
Seeing what the code of conduct becomes will be interesting. Ross has ex-players like Dan Marino and Jason Taylor on the committee so it stands to reason that there will be smart, sensible input into the development of that conduct.
"I think it's very important that we have a locker room and a work environment where every voice can be heard," Ross said. "Obviously there was a voice that we weren't hearing."
That voice is Martin, clearly. It sounds like Ross, without being able to get inside his head, is far more concerned with Martin having been (allegedly) bullied and harassed out of Miami. That's not surprising as an employer.
"Certain things are going to happen. It's where you draw the line," Ross said. "I think the world has changed. One thing that will not change: there will not be any racial slurs or harassing or bullying in that locker room or outside that locker room."