Ted Wells report: Jonathan Martin faced pattern of harassment from Dolphins teammates
In an NFL-sanctioned report released Friday, investigator Ted Wells concluded that Dolphins offensive linemen Richie Incognito, John Jerry and Mike Pouncey engaged in a pattern of harassment against Jonathan Martin, another teammate and an assistant trainer.
Wells rejects accusations that Martin made up his claims of harassment after he left the team and also rejects Incognito’s claims that his treatment of Martin was a case of buddies joking around. The investigation found that Martin’s actions were “consistent with the behavior of a victim of abusive treatment.”
Wells’ report also states that the trio of linemen did not intend to drive Martin from the team or cause him lasting emotional injury.
“The Report concludes that three starters on the Dolphins offensive line, Richie Incognito, John Jerry and Mike Pouncey, engaged in a pattern of harassment directed at not only Jonathan Martin, but also another young Dolphins offensive lineman and an assistant trainer. The Report finds that the assistant trainer repeatedly was the object of racial slurs and other racially derogatory language; that the other offensive lineman was subjected to homophobic name-calling and improper physical touching; and that Martin was taunted on a persistent basis with sexually explicit remarks about his sister and his mother and at times ridiculed with racial insults and other offensive comments.”
“The Report rejects any suggestion that Martin manufactured claims of abuse after the fact to cover up an impetuous decision to leave the team. Contemporaneous text messages that Martin sent to his parents and others months before he left the Dolphins — which have never before been made public—corroborate his account that the persistent harassment by his teammates caused him significant emotional distress. The Report concludes that the harassment by Martin’s teammates was a contributing factor in his decision to leave the team, but also finds that Martin’s teammates did not intend to drive Martin from the team or cause him lasting emotional injury,” said Mr. Wells.
“Consistent with my prior practices involving similar investigative reports, it is not my present intention to hold a press conference or comment further about the Report. The Report is thorough and comprehensive, and speaks for itself,” said Mr. Wells.
The report is 144 pages and takes an in-depth look at the entire situation. Pro Football Talk notes that Wells discovered text messages sent between Incognito and Pouncey discussing Martin and possible retaliation against their teammate, who they called a “snitch.” PFT also reported on the investigation’s conclusion that the linemen racially abused a Japanese-American team assistant trainer, further indication that the bullying extended beyond Martin.
Incognito had repeatedly denied bullying Martin. On Wednesday, he went on a Twitter rant against Martin in which he said that the “truth” would bury his teammate.
Martin and Incognito were both starters for the Dolphins until midway through this past season, when Martin left the team and accused Incognito of bullying him during his time in Miami. Incognito was subsequently suspended, in early November, and missed the rest of the season.
Wells’s table of contents reveals the following chapters and bullet points:
1. Martin Was Subjected to Persistent Harassing Language
2. The Harassment Humiliated Martin and Contributed to His Mental
3. The Mistreatment of Martin Is Consistent with a Case of
4. Incognito, Jerry and Pouncey Harassed Other Dolphins Personnel
5. Repeated Acts of Harassment Contributed to Martin’s Departure
6. Martin Did Not Fabricate His Allegations of Harassment
7. The Extent to Which the Abuse Resulted from Racial Animus Is
8. The Culture of the Dolphins Offensive Line Does Not Excuse the
Mistreatment of Martin
9. Martin’s Friendship with Incognito Does Not Excuse the Abuse
10. Martin Never Reported the Abuse to the Dolphins Organization
11. The Fine Book Shows that Incognito Knew that the Harassment
12. No Malicious Physical Attack of Martin Occurred at a 2012
13. Coach Philbin and the Front Office Did Not Know About the Harassment
14. The Verbal Abuse Was Contrary to Team Policies
15. The Dolphins’ Plans To Improve the Team’s Workplace Conduct
Policies Are Commendable
Stanley Kay contributed to this report.