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NFLPA in a delicate spot with Martin case


Even with the Dolphins and the NFL now reviewing the circumstances surrounding tackle Jonathan Martin’s departure from the team, the NFLPA isn’t investigating.

The NFLPA isn’t investigating because the NFLPA has no authority to impose discipline on anyone who may have been harassing Martin -- and because the NFLPA eventually may be representing any player who is disciplined for harassing Martin.

As explained during Football Night in America, Martin’s camp has provided to the Dolphins evidence of harassment that Martin’s representatives believe goes beyond hazing, relating specifically to guard Richie Incognito (for now) and generally to the culture of the team.

It is believed by Martin’s camp that the Dolphins understand the seriousness of the situation, and that they will conduct a thorough review.

The union won’t be involved in the review because the union ultimately will be representing the interests of Incognito or any other player who could be disciplined by the Dolphins (for conduct detrimental to the team) or by the league (for, possibly, violation of the personal conduct policy).

The NFLPA nevertheless will monitor the situation, because just as it would have the duty to represent anyone disciplined by the league or the team, the NFLPA has a duty to protect Martin.

While it puts the NFLPA in a delicate spot, the same dynamic applies any time the rights of a member of a union potentially have been violated by another member of the union.