Miami Dolphins offensive lineman Richie Incognito, 30, has been indefinitely suspended by the NFL while the league investigates the situation involving rookie player Jonathan Martin, 24.
It is the latest development in a controversial case that came to light last week when Martin shockingly announced he was taking a leave of absence from the team.
Martin had accused Incognito of player misconduct on Monday after an incident that occurred in the team cafeteria.
It came at the same time as almost all the veteran Dolphins players were accused of forcing newer recruits to fund their lavish lifestyles including $30,000 dinners.
According to reports on ESPN and in the Miami Herald on Sunday, the alleged bank-rolling is partly the reason for Martin’s shock leave of absence from the team.
ESPN claims Incognito got Martin to contribute $15,000 to help finance a trip to Vegas last summer, even though he didn’t attend. However, Incognito quickly disputed the report on Twitter.
The NFL on ESPN Twitter account reported on Sunday that the NFLPA was reviewing Incognito’s role in harassing Martin.
ESPN’s Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter released a report regarding Incognito on ESPN.com, saying that several sources insisted Incognito was involved.
They said the incident was not isolated and extended to 2012, when Martin was a second-round draft pick by the team.
One source said any emotional issues Martin is experiencing are directly related to his harassment.
On Friday, Dolphins coach Joe Philbin said, ‘This is something we take very seriously and will not be tolerated’, according to the report.
Incognito has been playing with the Dolphins since 2010 and has been in the NFL since 2006, originally with the St. Louis Rams. He was selected to the Pro Bowl just last season as an offensive guard.
Meanwhile, the Herald reported that one unnamed young player had coughed up so much cash to veterans that he’s gone broke.
Reporter Adam Beasley tweeted: ‘Recently, a younger player was handed the tab for a $30,000 team dinner. The rookie minimum this year is around $400.000.’
Two tweets from Jared Odrick and Will Davis support the accusation.