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Ted Wells Dolphins Report Highlights


If you want to read all 144 pages, you can.  Go here and have at it!  If you want the cliff notes (and I will not be biased in my selections of quotes from the report) then read on.

In order to maintain an unbiased and fair account of this report, I have elected to post selections as I read them.  This way not infer any personal bias in the matter.  I have supported Incognito in this for the most part.  So as you read on you will have my reactions to that as well as I read them for the first time.  Every indented selection is a direct quote from the report and is unedited.  I will make some effort to not post anything that is simply for the reason of shock value.

Although in this public Report we discuss certain sensitive personal matters pertaining to Martin, including his history of mental health issues and episodes of suicidal thoughts, we do so with the express permission of Martin and his family.

The first thing that strikes me is that Wells felt the need to include this “disclaimer” regarding Martin.  Why should Martin have any say in what is in this report?  He shouldn’t have any.  If his mental makeup is the result of mental health issues that have been deeply rooted since middle school, then that is a very pertinent finding in this case and as such, Wells shouldn’t need to get permission from Martin and his family.  I’m sure that there is no disclaimer on Incognito.  According to the report, Martin said he was teased and bullied in middle school and high-school on their football teams and that the teasing by Incognito, Pouncey, and John Jerry allowed his depression to resurface.

Incognito made a number of telling entries in a notebook used to keep track of “fines” the offensive linemen imposed on each other in their “kangaroo court” (typically for trivial infractions such as arriving late to meetings). Incognito recorded a $200 fine against himself for “breaking Jmart,” awarded another lineman who had been verbally taunted a $250 bonus for “not cracking first,” and wrote down a number of penalties against Martin for acting like a “pussy.”

The $250.00 bonus was paid to Nate Garner who apparently received a lot of bullying, teasing, and verbal abuse from the Martin, Pouncey, and Jerry…herafter refereed to as “The trio”.  Wells indicates that there were concerns about how to appropriately diagnose the level of abuse given Martin’s history and sensitivity to abuse.  Wells came to the conclusion that it did in fact exist based on A: comparisons to the Miami Dolphins conduct policy and B: the abuse leveled on another lineman and an assistant trainer.

The evidence establishes that persistent harassment by Incognito, Jerry and Pouncey contributed to Martin’s decision to leave the team. The facts we uncovered do not support the view of Incognito and his teammates that this conduct was all good- natured fun among friends. Nevertheless, although Incognito, Jerry and Pouncey verbally harassed Martin, we find that they did not intend to drive Martin from the team or cause him lasting emotional injury

The evidence has yet to be established in the report and I won’t likely want to post every incident as evidence.  The last line of the above quote won’t likely make it easy the trio.  We all know that Incognito will not be back but now a question of John Jerry also comes into play.  Mike Pouncey won’t likely go anywhere but he will likely get a fine or suspension of some kind.

Martin has expressed a desire to continue his NFL career, and we hope that he will have the opportunity to do so. His brief experience in the league was derailed by harassment from his teammates, and it would be unfortunate if he did not get the chance to resume playing in an environment that will permit him to reach his full potential as a professional athlete.

This is the final paragraph of the opening statement in the Wells document.  It’s also the one statement that I feel will result in a lawsuit from Martin and his camp.  If Martin does not continue his play or decides to quit at some point, he can cite this episode with Miami as the sole reason for him not being able to “fit in” elsewhere.  This will come back to bit Stephen Ross’ wallet.

Hey, wassup, you half-nigger piece of shit. I saw you on Twitter, you been training 10 weeks. I’ll shit in your fuckin’ mouth. I’m gonna slap your fuckin’ mouth, I’m gonna slap your real mother across the face [laughter]. Fuck you, you’re still a rookie. I’ll kill you.

The above is a voice message left by Richie to Martin.  The report goes on to say that this message was a turning point of sorts for Martin.  Martin told investigators that it was the first time he was called the N-word and more importantly showed that the enduring abuse during his rookie season was going to continue in year two.  I can see to some degree how that can affect a person when they think that it is over and then realize that it is not.  The report also says that Incognito made a lot of references to Martin’s sister and mother.  While I don’t have an issue with that conclusively, the fact that incognito opted to make the statements in front of other players or included other players on the texts is a bit disconcerting.  To say the least.  It laid the foundation of not simple insult but humiliation as well.

According to Martin, the mistreatment by his teammates and his inability to make them stop the insults drove him into depression and led him to contemplate suicide on two occasions in 2013

Martin told Wells that he had no depression at Stanford and that it all came back as a result of joining the Miami Dolphins.  Subjected to a lot of racial insults Martin exhibited textbook victim responses as far as I can tell from the report.  When bullied a weaker individual will try to match wits to become more accepted in the hopes that abuse will stop.  It usually increases.  That seems to be the case here but I still can’t get away from the fact that Martin suffered similar issues in HS.  More alarming is the fact that as an adult he didn’t reach out to the NFLPA or his coaches to get the abuse stopped.  Fear of retaliation is always the main reason but it doesn’t quite fit yet.

In May Martin exchanged (letters) with his mom and dad.  One message to his mom:

I care about my legacy as a professional athlete. But I’m miserable currently. A therapist & medication won’t help me gain the respect of my teammates. I really don’t know what to do Mom

To his father he wrote:

People call me a Nigger to my face. Happened 2 days ago. And I laughed it off. Because I am too nice of a person. They say terrible things about my sister. I don’t do anything. I suppose it’s white private school conditioning, turning the other cheek

Martin’s father responded:

They think nigger is okay because black people use it. Tell them you don’t use it and it is never okey and if they do it again then they can kiss your black ass. Likewise say that your sister is a Madonna. If they say it again they can kiss your ass. If they do say either again then just stare at them give them and give them your finger.

Unfortunately we do live in a society where the N-word is supposed to be THE word you can not use yet as Martin’s father said, black people use it and that often grays that line.  The fact that Martin laughed it off gave Incognito the impression that it was o.k. to use.  It’s obvious that the friendship was more or less one sided but the fact that Martin never seemed to show any indifference to it is more cause for Incognito to continue believing their friendship is at that level.

Martins’ dad also gave him advice on how to handle the situation.  Martin didn’t do that.

Racial and derogatory comments towards a “gay” player and the assistant trainer:

Incognito and John Jerry along with others on the Oline often berated one player about being gay although none of them felt he was.  I will keep this one short.  Inappropriate touching and gestures went way too far at times and Martin admitted to participation at times but never touching the player or calling him names.  The report says they found Martin’s actions consistent with someone who is being bullied.  What is more disconcerting is the fact that Oline coach Jim Turner allowed it and participated in it.

Along with the player, the trio berated an assistant trainer with racial abuse about his Japanese heritage and at one point told him to “give me some water you fucking chink”.  The harassment was seen by quite a few who described the insults thrown at him as being awkwardly laughed off.  The more surprising issue here is that it was done in front of head trainer Kevin Oneill who not only did nothing to stop it but laughed at it at times.

I have nothing to say about this because frankly, I find it disgusting.  I understand the playful nature can go to far with another player but an employee who is not a player should have a little more respect showed their way.  Frankly, it’s becoming obvious that Richie Incognito may be one of those fun loving locker room types but apparently has some deep seeded issues that he has yet to work out.

“Hey JM I understand how [y]ou feel man… They are relentless sometime…. Some day I wanna do exactly what you did today.”

The trainer sent the above text to Martin after he had left the team.  Ted Wells stated that many of the questions for the assistant trainer were answered without full disclosure or in an unbelievable manner.  He denied that Incognito bothered him and considered the two friends.  He did tell Wells that he did not want to ruin the trust he had with players.

The evidence shows that while Martin was waiting in line for food, Incognito called out to him from the table, saying that Martin was a “stinky Pakistani” who should not join the group. According to Martin, a fellow player standing near him in line overheard the comment and said “get them off your back.” Martin said that this episode further demonstrated to him that his teammates witnessed how he was routinely demeaned by the rest of the offensive line and observed that he was not standing up for himself, and he promised himself that if the linemen did one more thing, he would leave. Moments later, at Incognito’s urging, all of the linemen sitting at the table got up and walked away when Martin arrived. For Martin, the cafeteria incident was the last straw. He slammed his tray of food on the floor and left the Dolphins facility.

This in reference to the cafeteria issue that facilitated Martin’s leaving the team.  According to the report, Martin was abused throughout the day in meetings and on the practice field.  It paints a far different picture than that of which the media had laid out for the public.  Regardless, Martin not once stood up for himself until that moment he stormed out of the cafeteria.  Incognito told Wells that he had in fact called him a “Stinky Pakistani”.  Unless otherwise noted, Incognito has admitted to everything thus far.

Incognito claims, however, that Martin manufactured allegations that he was hurt by verbal harassment to cover up an impulsive decision to flee from football. According to Incognito, Martin’s departure from the Dolphins should be attributed to pre- existing mental health problems, alcohol and drug use and/or concerns about poor performance on the field. Martin has candidly acknowledged wrestling with all of these issues, and his text messages and other evidence demonstrate that these are real factors, not issues Incognito has manufactured out of whole cloth.

Wells’ report will say that Martin’s leaving the team was not a matter of being manufactured although he does tend to support the reality that Martin’s past mental health issues attributed to his departure.  The issue I have here is why he never felt he could go to someone for help and his participation in texts with Incognito were just as blatantly bad.  The other issue is that Wells tends to believe that Martin was in fact Richie’s friend and that it was a very “bi-polar” relationship by both men.

In addition, Incognito alleged that Martin at times abused alcohol and recreational drugs,  particularly after bad games.4 Incognito pointed out, for example, that following a poor performance in the Dolphins’ October 6, 2013 game against the Baltimore Ravens, Martin got extremely intoxicated and missed a morning weightlifting session.

According the report, Martin agreed with Incognito about this incident.  I find this particularly interesting as it paints a picture of a guy who can’t handle defeat.  Turning to drugs and alcohol will most assuredly be spun towards the abuse leading him to that point but I find that in my opinion, at the core of Martin’s self is an underlying issue that while made worse by the bullying was still present.  Martin didn’t experience losing or getting beat at Stanford and it seems that the landscape of the NFL in terms of opponents strength and speed was an issue.  Incognito also says that Martin was very upset after the Dolphins traded for Bryant McKinney and moved back to the right side.  Martin denied that was the case but did acknowledge a serious concern of his play.

We will have a lot more on this but honestly, I have only made it to page 32 and it’s still getting thick.  I’m taking a break!

Tags: Jonathan Martin Miami Dolphins Richie Incognito Ted Wells Report

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