TODAY

TODAY   |  January 29, 2014

Martin on possible NFL return: 'I‘m ready to play'

The former Miami Dolphins star speaks exclusively to NBC Sports’ Tony Dungy since leaving his team over allegations he was bullied. Players allegedly made “racial” and “sexual” comments, he tells Dungy.

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>>> and we're back now at 7:39 with an nbc exclusive. jonathan martin the nfl player who said he endured bullying, speaking out for the first time since leading his team. he sat down for a candid conversation with tony dungy .

>> tell me the first thing that happened that caused you to feel uncomfortable.

>> the comments of a racial nature, aggressive sexual comments that related to my sister and my mother. i've spoken to my teammates on other -- former teammates in other locker rooms across the nfl . i said is this normal rookie hazing? and the consensus was this is not normal.

>> a lot of what i'm hearing centers around ritchie incognito.

>> there was more than one. i think it was the culture. i don't think there's a place to disrespect people in a professional sport. offensive line men are like a brotherhood.

>> this started your rookie year. did you feel like you were singled out? do you think you got it more than other guys did?

>> there were other people that got it, too. i can't say why. i may have gotten more -- you know, like i said, i have no problem with the normal hazing you see in the nfl , get a haircut, you know, stuff like that, little pranks. but of a personal, you know, attacking nature, i don't think there's any place for that.

>> did you think about things? or did you talk to anybody after your first year before you started your second year?

>> i did mention the organization knew i was struggling.

>> who were you talking to?

>> i had conversations with my coaches above me. i didn't get into specifics. you're not supposed to, you know, quote unquote , snitch on your teammates. i didn't see it as my place to go above leaders on the offensive line and talk to coaches about my teammates.

>> you mentioned there was no one specific incident. but at some point during this past season, you started thinking about leaving the team. tell me what led up to that.

>> extending past my rookie season and got to the point where a lot of things were changing.

>> did you ever talk to the coach about this? your head coach?

>> i did not. i worked hard with cog nincog any toe and others.

>> i see the story, the text messages going back and forth, seemed friendly, seems like he's sending you texts, you're sending him a bunch of texts, is that not a send of friendship?

>> it is. like i said, i was trying with all my being to do whatever i could to be a member of this culture.

>> have you talked to anybody from the dolphins since you left?

>> no.

>> what are you looking for in the next situation? what will be different for you so it doesn't end up like it did in miami?

>> well, opportunities in the nfl are fleeting. hopeful i get another opportunity and make the most of it this is what i love to do.

>> do you think you're ready to come back in this environment?

>> i don't think there's any question i'm ready.

>> how can you assure me?

>> i'm telling you, i'm ready to play. i'll be ready to play on sunday if my team is in the super bowl .

>> we reached out to the dolphins, the team has declined to comment until it gets results of the nfl 's investigation. and after those allegations surface, ritchie incognito was suspended from the dolphins. tony dungy joins