You may or may not have heard that the Ted Wells report dropped last week. I know it slipped under the radar, and no one is talking about it. If you didn’t know, there was a very minor situation between Jonathan Martin and Richie Incognito this past season.
Still with me? Ok, good. I figured I would start out my take on the Ted Wells report in ridiculous fashion, as most of the hype and media coverage relating to this eagerly awaited document is overblown and knee jerk reaction. Things people are writing trying to make the report actually mean something. After five months of thorough investigation, travel, interviews and media frenzy the report is here. Ted Wells consulted with experts and researched mental health topics. He spoke with all parties involved multiple times, and produced a weighty and lengthy 144 page report detailing his findings.
After reading the majority of the report, looking over most of the topics contained within it, walking away in disgust a few times, I’ve come to a conclusion. Ted Wells could’ve made it easier on all parties involved and spun this in the proper direction, regardless of the popularity. He could’ve simplified this report dramatically, without exposing things that look extremely bad in some cases unnecessarily. This report could have been one sentence and still told us as much in relation to this issue as the report really told us. Below is a simplified, cliff notes version of the report for those who have or have not read it:
REPORT TO THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE CONCERNING
ISSUES OF WORKPLACE CONDUCT AT THE MIAMI DOLPHINS
By: PAUL, WEISS, RIFKIND, WHARTON & GARRISON LLP
Theodore V. Wells, Brad S. Karp, Bruce Birenboim, David W. Brown
(as summarized and “fixed” by Paul L. Picken, Jr.)
Date: February 18, 2014
Table of Contents
Introduction, Background, Executive Summary……………………………………………………………..p 3
Introduction, Executive Summary, Background & Conclusions:
Jonathan Martin is a professional football player for the Dolphins who left the team amidst mental health issues and alleging bullying claims from several players on the Dolphins including Richie Incognito. Richie and Jon were friends. Jon has confessed to mental health issues dating as far back as middle school. Richie and others behavior, at times, would be considered reprehensible outside of their circle of friends. At times Richie has demonstrated the lack of an ability to know where the line is. As Jonathan not only did not go to coaches, support staff and discontinued “therapy” because it was too long of a drive, nor appears to have given any indication to anyone aside from his parents that he needed help, it is difficult to gauge exactly what occurred. While we could prepare a lengthy report unnecessarily, it would serve no purpose as anything contained in a lengthy report would be simply speculation and out of context.
Throughout the investigation we did uncover other aspects that amount to nothing more than hearsay, and thus are not including them in this report.
We feel Jonathan Martin would be best served by seeking a full psychiatric mock up that he must agree to and complete, as well as any recommended treatment recommended by a league appointed therapist. We believe it would be a good faith gesture for the league to cover this treatment plan and make it a requirement that Jonathan complete this program, while being paid a league minimum salary, prior to a consideration for a return to the NFL. Any consideration for return to the NFL requires sign off from the therapists in his program, and he be required to participate fully in this to return to a status of eligibility to return to the league.
While we would like Jonathan Martin to return to the NFL, we fear that the everyday challenges of daily NFL life put Jonathan at a significant risk due to what we have ascertained in regards to his admittance in regards to his mental health, as well as evidence provided by all parties in this matter.
This is in no way meant as a punishment to Jonathan, but as a measure of concern for him, as well as to protect both his interests, those of the Miami Dolphins and of the NFL in general. Several items were raised as a concern that he may be a danger to himself or others, and while we are not qualified in the field of psychiatry we would recommend that licensed professionals be the ones to make the call in regards to his mental health.
Richie has proven to be an asshole on occasion, but was suspended for his role in things. We would recommend that Richie undergo psychiatric assistance as well, but this is in no way mandatory. There are positives and negatives to Richie that, quite frankly, are at the discretion of the club to determine if they so choose to pursue.
This situation brings to light the greater need for psychiatric care at the NFL level, as well as additional means that a player can reach out to discretely to discuss mental health issues that may arise. We believe a committee should be formed based on the awareness this has raised, and that this committee be responsible for implementing an effective program that players can turn to.
That is pretty much it. Anything else in the report is speculation, hearsay or heavily influenced by personal feelings or speculation from third parties. Contradictions to this report have already been raised by players mentioned specifically in the report. It’s ridiculous and a lot of pages were taken up unnecessarily.
Leave your own thoughts in the comments below. Feel free to add your own interpretation as well.