(SportsNetwork.com) - Miami guard Richie Incognito was asked by coaches to "toughen up" fellow offensive lineman Jonathan Martin, apparently leading to the alleged conduct that caused Martin to leave the team and the Dolphins to suspend Incognito indefinitely, according to a report.
The request came after Martin missed a voluntary workout in the spring, the Sun Sentinel reported, citing at least two sources. The sources told the south Florida newspaper Incognito may have taken the orders too far. It doesn't say which coaches might have been involved.
A Dolphins spokesman declined to comment on the report.
Incognito is accused of bullying Martin and of using a racial slur against him and threatening violence against him and his mother in a voicemail Martin has turned over to the NFL, which is investigating the situation.
According to a transcript of the message, reportedly left in April, Incognito also tells Martin, "I'll kill you."
The Dolphins indefinitely suspended Incognito, a nine-year veteran, on Sunday.
Martin, a second-round pick in 2012, abruptly left the Dolphins last week and is seeking treatment for emotional distress.
In a statement, the NFL Players Association said it expects the NFL and its teams to "create a safe and professional workplace for all players and that owners, executives, coaches and players should set the best standards and examples."
"It is the duty of this union to hold the clubs and teams accountable for safety and professionalism in the workplace," the union said.
It said it would insist on a "fair investigation" into the situation and will "remain in contact with the impacted players, their representatives and player leadership."