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Cardinals’ Dansby: Dolphins’ lack of leadership contributed to bullying incident

GLENDALE, Ariz. — A starting linebacker for the Arizona Cardinals said the Miami Dolphins are paying the price for letting go of players who were in leadership roles on the team.

Karlos Dansby spent three seasons with the Dolphins before being released in March. He was picked up by the Cardinals in May.

The Dolphins are now embroiled in a controversy. Offensive lineman Jonathan Martin has left the team after claiming that teammate Richie Incognito bullied him by sending racist and vulgar texts and e-mails.

Incognito has been suspended.

During a visit to Luke Air Force Base on Tuesday, Dansby commented that he was a leader in the Miami locker room last year, along with Reggie Bush. Dansby said the incident would’ve never happened on any team he was a leader of.

“If you take the leaders off the team, somebody else has to step up, and nobody has,” said Dansby. “You have situations like this get out into the public. This should have never gotten out into the public. This should have been handled right there in the locker room by the team.”

When asked if he saw anything like this going on in the Miami locker room when he was a member of the Dolphins team, Dansby replied, “No, because I was a leader of the team. [This is not going to happen] on my watch. I’m not going to allow that to take place.”

Dansby said that the incident is a sad situation.

“I know both of those guys,” Dansby said. “I had the opportunity to grace the field with both of them and be in the locker room with both of those guys. Like I say, it’s a really sad situation.”

Dansby hopes that Miami players encourage Martin to rejoin the team and that they make him feel welcome.

“The guy’s been threatened. His life has been threatened,” explained Dansby. “You want to make sure that the atmosphere is perfect for him to come back. You let him know, ‘We are going to come back and we are going to embrace you with open arms.'”