Disclaimer: 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.
No Malicious Physical Attack of Martin Occurred at a 2012 Christmas Party
This section centers on the accusation by Martin that he was physically abused by Incognito at a Xmas party held at Mike Pouncey’s house. This was actually leaked to the media shortly after Martin left the team and painted a physically abusing picture. The Ted Well’s report finds that this did not happen as it was stated by Martin. Martin stated that Incognito threw him on a couch and began to punch him in the face. He would later tell a friend VIA text that he “kneed Incognito” to get off of him. The report concludes that Martin was not actually physically harmed and that the incident left him unmarked or bruised and determined that it was just rough-housing. As seems to be the standard with most of the Martin issues, the two were perfectly fine five minutes later.
Furthermore, Martin tells Wells that the incident was humiliating and that other teammates had to break it up. I am having a difficult time following some of this. The reason is that the report states that Mart was indeed humiliated based on Martin saying so but at the same time they say it went beyond “mere rough-housing” they don’t believe it to be a physical attack. The problem I have is that the report cites as evidence a text from Martin to an unnamed friend about Incognito wanting to “beat his ass” and then “five minutes later it was like nothing had happened”. He also said in another text that he kneed Incognito and made not mention to his friend about his teammates having to help.
At this point of the report, Wells is talking about the executives and coach Philbin not knowing. I contend that while he may not have known his lack of leadership should have seen this. Let’s remember that Incognito faced a sexual harassment charge from an off-season golf outing. He was also involved in a night club altercation prior to the start of training camp. Philbin however let him become a member of the leadership council and kept no extra eyes on his star troublemaker. That makes Philbin, to me, as guilty as those who participated or didn’t report it. It’s Joe Philbin’s team.
The report then goes into background on the primary players of this incident. Backgrounds on Martin and almost everyone else. What disturbs me about this section is the way Incognito is portrayed. Martin’s background is summed up by his up-bringing and education and his accomplishments at Stanford as well as becoming the Miami Dolphins starting tackle. While it speaks a little about his self-depravating thoughts regarding his demotion and stress to play at the NFL level, in contrast, Ritchie’s is a highlight reel of every negative incident he has had as an NFL player.
It’s a pretty consistent theme within this report whereas Martin is clearly portrayed as a victim and Incognito the victimizer.
Martin acknowledged that profanity is often thrown around casually by college and professional football players. He said he was not surprised or bothered to hear vulgar words directed at him from time to time. In his view, however, Incognito, Jerry and Pouncey repeatedly and frequently hurled profanity at him, and not in a joking manner, but in a demeaning tone, a view the evidence supports.
Most of the Wells’ report centers on Martin finding the abuse to be verbal. The actions of “the trio”, Incognito, Jerry, and Pouncey, according to Martin escalated after he didn’t respond to the first verbal insults of “bitch”, “pussy”, and more. This was in 2012 as a rookie after training camp had broke. It should also be noted that Martin consistently has credited Incognito and Jake Long with mentoring him along the way despite the verbal abuse he was taking. For whatever reason, Incognito made quick friends with the rookie. According to the timeline of the report and the text messages, it seems that their friendship became closer when Martin was moved to the left side when Long got hurt. That is however only a deductive reasoning by looking at what is available to me.
Martin informed us that his initial reactions to these insults was to object saying things like, “stop it – that’s disgusting,” or “that’s gross,” but that these tepid responses merely emboldened Incognito, Jerry and Pouncey. On occasion, by Martin’s account, he responded by saying, “fuck you,” to which a teammate might respond, “I’m still going to fuck your sister.” Once, upon hearing vulgar comments about his sister while waiting for an offensive unit meeting to begin, he says that he threatened “to start swinging in 30 seconds” if the comments did not stop, but his threat was not taken seriously, and the comments stopped only because coaches arrived and the meeting began. Incognito, Jerry and Pouncey said they did not recall hearing Martin issue this challenge, but another player recalled that on several occasions Martin told them to stop and threatened to start swinging.
The above was in regards to sexual comments regarding Martin’s sister. The comments were extremely vulgar and I did not see the point of including them here. This also represents the only time thus far that Martin may have clearly asked his teammates to stop talking about his sister. Something he contends deeply bothered him because of his failure to stand up for her. Later similar comments were made about his mother. To the best of my knowledge this is also the first time that another player/s overheard Martin talk about standing up for himself. What it does not say is of on those other occasions the comments stopped immediately after that threat or continued. Still it’s apparent that the “trio” never stopped completely.
It should also be noted that of all the comments the “trio” has made, teammates observed that the comments related to his sister and mother were visually hard on Martin and that it was clear it made him unhappy. Furthermore other members of the team said it became an almost daily occurrence that lasted weeks at a time and didn’t fully stop until he left in October.
Incognito told Wells that he the objective of the insult was to get under Martin’s skin. Incognito also said that he knew it bothered Martin. This is again, the first time that we clearly see Incognito harassing his friend knowing without question that it bothered him. It’s a reminder that Incognito has his own agenda and while I see much of this so far as questionable to the validity of Martin’s abuse, there is no question that Incognito knew at times it was not conduct that he should be displaying.
What is surprising here is that Martin claims Incognito to be the ringleader of the trio but when it came to the sister comments, John Jerry was the worse and that he continued and continued to know end. More shocking is the fact that all involved except Jim Turner said that both Turner and former Assistant Mosely knew and heard the comments about Martin’s sister. At one point Martin says that Mosely commented “Hey JMart, heard about your sister”. Martin also said that head trainer O’Neill heard the comments as well and at one point pulled him aside and told him to stand up for himself.
None of the coaches did a thing to stop it. It should be noted that several other members of the team stated that Martin actually received better treatment because he was a starter and that Josh Samuda in particular seemed to get it worse. As did Nate Garner who was not a rookie. It was also stated that behavior of that nature was not present on other units of the team.
On December 18, 2012, Martin sent text messages to a friend from Stanford in which he retold the previous night’s events:
Martin: We had o line gift exchange then went to a different strip club then south beach
Friend: That’s awesome
Martin: Yeah these guys are insane too lol Incognito is the most bipolar person I’ve ever met… At one point he pulled his shirt off & tried to beat my ass yesterday it was nuts haha
Friend: Hahaha did people try and stop him or were they like fuck i[t]
Martin: At first they were like fuck it but we were in Pounceys house about to break shit, we were play fighting, then he body slammed me onto the couch and started punching me in the face it was insane hahaha
Friend: That’s fuckin nuts
Martin: Yeah I started kneeing him in the nuts & elbowing him, pretty hard to[o]. Then it got broken up lol
Martin; Then 5 min later it was like nothing even happened and we went to the strip club
Martin claimed that he downplayed these feelings in the above-quoted text messages because he did not want to disclose his humiliation to his friend.
To me, this is one of the reasons I can’t fully believe that Martin was afflicted in such a way to be singled out in a hateful and not overly wrong playful manner with no real intent to harm him emotionally. I alluded to this early and this was brought up again in the report. I’m not sure why they didn’t put this in before. There is NOTHING in this that tells me Martin was concerned, angry, hurt, or humiliated by Incognito’s actions. It also clearly shows that he resisted physically and says that it was basically rough-housing…hahah. If Martin was so concerned about this he would have either said nothing to his friend or would have sought some sort of validation to his feelings of it becoming personal and not playful. I don’t buy into the fear of humiliation to his friend.
The report is doing a lot of repeating now with a few more details. Some of which I already deduced or alluded to. Such as Incognito and Martin’s friendship becoming stronger after the move of Martin to the left side. It is also interesting that many on the team felt the two were inseparable and that many saw the relationship as brothers. In fact Marin invited Incognito to dine with him and his visiting friends from Stanford on occasion an that Incognito would offer advice to the college kids on better technique. Martin ascertains that Incognito’s bipolar nature made him easier to be around when they were not with other Dolphins players.
We are moving into an area that may play a bit more pivotal than simply misunderstood text messages and verbal assaults. I believe this is a part of the investigation that should not be simply tossed out as having possible credence to the events leading up to Martin’s departure. I recognize that Incognito’s play with Martin has to some degree opened repressed emotions from younger years. A part of this however is Martin’s own feelings towards his play on the field.
Well that will not be the case. As I said I am reading this and posting as I go along to not predetermine an opinion. The next section began talking about Martin playing poorly at the end of the season and that coach Jim Turner and Incognito criticized Martin for letting bad plays linger in his mind. Specifically after a bad loss to New England at the end of 2012. The report then swings to Martin being at home post-season and falling into depression then swings to the Las Vegas trip that he ultimately decided not to attend.
On January 11, Incognito sent the following text message to Martin: “What time u get in?” Martin responded: “Man I just can’t deal with this Vegas trip with what I’ve been dealing with recently… Let me know if I owe you anything for the room.” Incognito replied: “It’s all good.Let me know if you need anything.”
I pose this text exchange because Martin contends that him not going was met very harshly. A “fine” was later issued to Martin and Josh Samuda who also didn’t attend in the amount of 10,000. Samuda basically told the screw off and wasn’t paying it. Martin however did pay it. Incognito contends that the fine was a joke and that Samuda got the joke and was not singled out for not paying. Martin however did pay the fine contending he didn’t feel it was a joke. The Wells’ report seems to believe that Martin simply misunderstood.
That day, he sent the following text message to a friend, in which he listed pros and cons of continuing to play football:
-Football games are fun
-I can make a lot of money playing football and be set for life -I have a legacy that will live after I die
-not many people get to live their childhood dream
-I am the left tackle for the Miami dolphins
-if I quit, I’ll be known as a quitter for the rest of my life
-my legacy at Stanford will be tarnished
-I will never be able to look any coach from my past in the eye
-I hate going in everyday.
-I am unable to socialize with my teammates in their crude manner
-I already have a lot of money. I could travel the world, get my degree. Then get a real job
-I could lose 70 lbs and feel good about my body
-I won’t die from CTE
-Maybe I’ll start to LIKE myself
-I don’t need to live lavishly. I could live very frugally
-why do I care about these people? All I need is my family.
On Monday and Tuesday, May 6 and 7, Martin stayed home and did not report to voluntary off-season workouts. As a result, Coach Turner reached out to him, and on May 7, Martin agreed to meet with Turner at the Dolphins training facility. Martin and Turner provided largely similar accounts of this meeting.
Things apparently started to get worse for Martin following the 2012 season. During some off-season work it appears that a “sack tape” was shown of all the sacks given up during the 2012 season and that Martin had given up quite a few. It bothered him but Martin would downplay it. Most of the next 20 or so pages are text messages to his family regarding his mental state. Most of this has been reported earlier in the report and I do not know why it being re-hashed now. Regardless the above it the first mention of Martin reaching out to a friend with a tick list of why he should stay or leave the team.
His reach out to coach Turner however is more disturbing because Turner did nothing with it…presumably. It should have been a wake up call for the Dolphins offensive coaches instead it was ignored. Of course Incognito is also not out of this either. His knowledge of Martin’s suicide thoughts and depression should have been a flag that sent this “leader” to his coach for more direction.
I will stand corrected, apparently over the next few pages Turner did in fact ask Martin about suicide thoughts and depression. Turner took it to Philbin who spoke with both Martin and his family. He then went to Jeff Ireland who spoke with Martin and then sent him to the head trainer O’Neill where they were able to get him in to see a local psychiatrist. Martin was given an anti-depressant and returned to the off-season workouts. He spoke with his father via text shortly after:
Jonathan Martin: My day was good! I hope the earthquake wasn’t too bad. Btw you are gonna get a call from one of my coaches, they are gonna ask about this situation I guess. Nothing serious just trying to deal with it
Gus Martin: Okay. Question: are you okay with me saying we intervened and it is being handled?
Jonathan Martin: Yeah
Jonathan Martin: I told my coach that I have had suicidal thoughts in the past so he may bring that up
Gus Martin: Okay. Is it alright and accurate to say you will be on the job and training?
Jonathan Martin: Yes
I want to stop here for a second without reading much further. I go back to Philbin having knowledge of this now. Turner, Ireland, and O’Neill. Yet not a damn one of them felt it necessary to keep an eye on this throughout the months leading up to his departure. Blame who you want but if Joe Philbin knew that his starting LT was having suicidal thoughts, then Joe Philbin should have reacted more and did more to find out. Sorry but this really pisses me off…until of course I read the next few pages.
I know this is almost 3,000 words and I will to wrap this up. I’m on page 120′sh of 144. According to Martin the medication worked well enough but after a return from five weeks in California Martin only went to see the shrink once. It’s also noted that Philbin never had further discussions with the lineman and that he didn’t find out from Turner that Martin had stopped seeing the shrink until after he left the team. Great leader!
It’s not stated whether or not Martin stopped taking the medication. Normally a psych, will not continue meds if he is not seeing a patient. Martin had told him mom the meds were working but something turned when he stopped seeing the psych. Martin messaged his mom that on off days he was only eating one time a day, wasn’t depressed so much as unmotivated and said that he was losing his competitive desire. It does say the abuse, verbally, was continuing.
The text messages show that Martin repeatedly sought out Incognito’s company during the 2013 season. For example, after the Dolphins won their first three games, the following text messages were exchanged:
Martin: I got those same two chicks from [local strip club] who wanna hang out
Martin: C’mon man we got tomorrow off… We’re 3-0… Gotta celebrate
Martin: Don’t pull a Jon Martin
Incognito: I’m laying on my couch I wanna get fadedSoooo tired
Incognito: HahahaWhere do u wanna go [another bar in Ft. Lauderdale]??
Martin: Yeah man why not. We gotta do something
Incognito: Ok. Let’s do [that bar]
Incognito: Let’s eeeeeeeat
Martin: Ok. [Dolphins defensive player] doing sobe [South Beach]… Just saying
Incognito: Sobe is waaaay too much for me
Incognito: I’ll step out for a drink or two. U young boys can stay out late. Not this old man p
Martin: Ok. I can do [that bar] Martin: When u wanna go?
Incognito: Let’s go now
Incognito: Waiting on a cabU there? Incognito: How are those girls looking? Martin: Not here yet but they’re bad bro Incognito: Yeeeesssss
Martin’s relationship with Incognito became so close during 2013 that he told Incognito about some of his mental health issues, including at least one of his instances of suicidal thoughts. Incognito’s recollection is that Martin linked his depression to poor performance in football and said he felt worthless after he had a bad game, referencing the 2012 season-ending game against the Patriots. Martin confirmed that, when he mentioned depression to Incognito, he probably attributed it to the pressures of football. But Martin claimed that to the extent he focused on football, that was because he did not want to disclose to Incognito that he felt verbally abused by his teammates.
I want to quickly focus on one thing that has resonated from Incognito and others on the team. Martin too lackluster play seriously and it bothered him. In addition he didn’t handle losing well either especially when he played a part in that loss. The above communication illustrates to me how in 2013 early with the team winning (3-0) it’s Martin begging Incog to come out and party and not the other way around. It also illustrates the fact that Incognito was ignorant to the reasons behind Martin’s depression and that Martin himself agreed that Incognito would have thought it was from the game itself.
The Baltimore Ravens game
Martin failed to show up at practice on time. He had a bad game and the Dolphins were now on a two game skid. Martin showed up late to practice after Incognito sent another lineman to his house to find him. Martin showed up on his own. He was inebriated.
Following the days after this event, Martin continued to be depressed. He had another bad game against New England in yet another loss and the Dolphins traded for McKinnie and moved Martin back to RT. Martin left the team a short time later. Martin’s account of walking out the way he did was a result of an all day taunting by Incognito calling him a “Dirty Pakistani”. Martin left and checked himself into a local hospital. He exchanged texts with three people from the team. Coach Philbin, an unnamed defensive lineman, and Jeff Ireland. It was clear by Irelands texts that he knew of only the prank to leave the table when Martin arrived:
Ireland: Jonathan. Glad your safe. You have a family of brothers that care very much for you. They meant not harm in there prank. We are all here for you. J Ireland
Martin: Mr. Ireland– I appreciate the text. Just spoke with Coach Philbin. I apologize for making a scene & making people worried.
Ireland: We’ll work thru all this. Don’t u worry
It should also be noted that the exchange about “going to fisticuffs” between Ireland and Martin’s agent occurred after Martin left the team according to the report. The timeline is not outlined well at times but the report seems to say that Agent Zuckerman and Ireland had this talk after he left.
What happened after Martin left the team is pretty much common knowledge as it has been presented ad nauseam over the last four to five months and has a huge impact on the team. It’s unknown what will happen as a result of this. I will leave you with one final set of text messages for you to formulate or conclude your own opinion as well. It’s the published series of texts between Incognito and Martin following Martin’s departure from the team and then the unpublished texts between Inognito and Pouncey afterwards.
Incognito: How u doing buddy? Feeling better?? I miss us
Martin: Wassup man? The worlds gone crazy lol I’m good tho congrats on the win
Incognito: Thanks dude It’s unbelievable all the attention this is getting. All that’s important is that you feel better and know we miss u dude
Martin: Yeah I’m good man. It’s insane bro but just know I don’t blame you guys at all it’s just the culture around football and the locker room got to me a little.
Martin: Btw… Never check yourself into a mental hospital
Incognito: I hear ya It’s a lot to take in I’ve checked myself in before I had to threaten to beat everyone up for them to let me out. Not fun
Martin: Yeah bro it was the worst. I almost snapped and started breaking shit
Incognito: Hahahaha That’s exactly what I was feeling
Incognito: The brain is a tricky thing My brain has been to far out places and back
Martin: Yeah man. How you feeling? Heard you got hurt
Incognito: I’m good Got a crazy stinger Lost feeling in my arm MRI came back clean tho I’ll be ok
Martin: Damn. Good to hear bro
Incognito: Have u beat GTA yet?
Martin: Nah I’m back in LA so wont get a chance to for a little while. Hbu?
Incognito: I’m getting close About to nerd the fuck out this weekend
Incognito: Good to hear from u bro If u need anything hit me up. I’m here for you my dude
Martin: Fsho bro. Take it easy
One hour later Incognito exchanged these texts with Pouncey:
ncognito: Fuck Jmart That faggot is never [allowed] back
Pouncey: Bro I said the same thing I can’t even look at him the same he’s a pussy
Incognito: My agent just asked if we held mandatory strip club meetings Jmart is fucking ratting on everyone
Pouncey: Lol wow are you serious he is a fuck boy
Pouncey: He’s not welcome back bro I can’t be around that fucking guy
Incognito: Fuck that guy if Ur not with [u]s Ur against us Pouncey: No question bro he’s a coward for snitching Incognito: Snitches get stitches Blood in blood out Fucking guy Pouncey: He’s dead to me
Incognito would not hear back from Martin and would text him several more times asking for his help because he was “getting killed in the media.”
I will have my final thoughts on this report soon.