Bryant McKinnie says Jonathan Martin 'went about it the wrong way'
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Former Minnesota Vikings tackle Bryant McKinnie has a different definition of bullying than the Ted Wells report that condemned a trio of Miami Dolphins offensive linemen, including Richie Incognito, for a "pattern of harassment directed at not only [Jonathan] Martin, but also another young Dolphins offensive lineman."
In an interview on Sirius XM Radio on Monday, McKinnie said he felt Martin had more options than completely removing himself from the situation midseason and that bullying "doesn't apply" to this situation.
"I wasn't even there long enough. I didn't see enough for me to feel the need to step in," McKinnie said. "I don't feel like bullying is the term, because i don't feel like anybody physically harmed [Martin]. He always had the option to say yes or no. It was never like he got bullied and feared for his life."
McKinnie, 34, was traded from the Baltimore Ravens to the Dolphins in October. He started in Martin's spot at left tackle for the last 10 games of the season. He's an unrestricted free agent this offseason.
"If things were going too far, definitely. I'm definitely one of those people like, 'OK, like we're doing too much. We're losing focus.' At the end of the day you're there to win football games and prepare for games that week. You're definitely going to feel like it's becoming a distraction."
"At the same time, it was something even the players themselves thought Jon was laughing with them, not really behind their back crying and getting depressed about the situation," McKinnie said.
The Wells report that was released on Friday used the word "bullying" 41 times in the 144-page report.
But, in what is likely a common opinion in NFL locker rooms, McKinnie feels like Martin should've spoken up about the harassment before going public.
"I just felt like he went about it the wrong way and didn't communicate properly with the proper people...at the Dolphins to handle that situation and make things go a little more smoothly," McKinnie said. "It was never done in front of them, so they were kind of blinded by it. I don't fault them for that."
However, investigator Ted Wells condemned one Dolphins coach in offensive line coach Jim Turner. Wells said Turner was aware of several players jokingly referring to then-Dolphins lineman Andrew McDonald as being gay and that Turner participated in the taunting at least once.
McKinnie played nine seasons in Minnesota after the Vikings selected him with the seventh-overall pick in 2002.