Wells’ Report Breakdown Part Two
By Brian Miller
If you followed along with me the other day I broke down the first 33 pages of the report with quotes from the report and my own opinion on that particular section. I will wrap up the rest now. You can read that article here. As I did in the first article, I will post this short disclaimer first so you know how I am viewing this. My conclusions on this matter will follow this article.
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.
The Wells Report picks up speed (reading speed) shortly after the 33rd page. Most of the highlights from that point are pretty consistent with what was already made public.
"While Martin participated in crude and offensive conduct, his personal style was not an asset in a battle of insults with Incognito, Jerry and Pouncey. Incognito conceded that he could tell that participating in demeaning banter “wasn’t [Martin’s] cup of tea” and that Martin sometimes responded to verbal onslaughts by saying nothing more than “fuck you.” By Incognito’s account, Martin responded in this manner, rather than with more creative retorts, because he had not grown up “talking shit” and was not as “witty” as Incognito, Jerry or Pouncey. For these reasons, it is easy to conclude that Martin was being pressured to play a game that he did not really want to join, with rules that were foreign to him. Indeed, on May 6, 2013, Martin wrote in a text message to a friend: “I am unable to socialize with my teammates in their crude manner.”"
We can start here which is about four to five pages from where I left off. This is an interesting paragraph in this report and while I have been feeling “bad” for Martin I find this to be a situation of Martin lacking strength or maybe knowledge of how to handle himself as an adult. The fact Martin attempted to participate gives the belief that he accepted the terms of these friendships. At one point in the Wells report, Will Yeatman who roomed with Martin said that he was often jealous that the other lineman never asked him to go out with them like they did Martin. Throughout this entire report we hear of messages, emails, and some calls to family and friends making similar statements to the last line of the above quoted paragraph yet at NO point in this entire report does it say he made them to his teammates.
"According to one witness, “no one really messed with Incognito—especially as a rookie."
This was in regards to a comment about “Player A” who has now been identified as former Dolphins lineman Andrew McDonald. McDonald was the “Player A” who was ridiculed with gay comments and persistent jokes and harassment. I put this line here only because last season I was in the Miami Dolphins locker room and on Richie Incognito’s locker was a placard that read “Richie Incognito hates taxes and rookies”. McDonald has since come out and said that one, he was none to thrilled that he was brought up in this investigation and two that he harbors no ill feelings towards anyone within the Dolphins organization including Incognito and line coach Jim Turner. It should be noted that upon McDonalds release, the report states that the team turned on Nate Garner a six year veteran who later texted Martin to let him know that he understood what he was going through as he had been “Dealing with this for six years now”.
To make one thing clear, again, Incognito is a pig. He has very brash vulgar nature and likely deep rooted mental issues that possibly stem from self-esteem issues. That being said, I am not judging him on who he is or the vulgarity level of his actions only the manner in which they are used and why. I will also point out that on several occasions Incognito said that guns were good to shoot black people, the report states that the comments while racial were not racially motivated and that it was likely just talk. It points out Richie’s friendships with most of the black members of the team and the Wells report does say that many black members considered Richie a “black guy”. That kind of environment opens up, especially in a person who already has some inner issues the supposed permission to say things others would normally not say. It was also noted in the Wells report that Incognito’s use of the word “nigger” was also directed to many of his white teammates as well. The report at one point says Richie is not viewed as being intentionally racist despite the fact that his brashness suggests otherwise. This also goes with the verbal and visual abuse towards the assistant trainer.
"Many Dolphins players reported that Incognito and Martin seemed inseparable; some said they viewed Martin as Incognito’s little brother. Incognito called Martin his “road dog,” claiming that Martin willingly and frequently wanted to “hang out” with him at restaurants, bars and other nightclubs, at all hours of the day or night. Incognito points out that Martin never let on that he felt harassed, and asserts that if he had known that his behavior seriously troubled Martin, the conduct immediately would have stopped.Indeed, Incognito says that Martin’s entire story of alleged harassment is inconsistent with their close personal relationship—which was so close, in fact, that Martin felt comfortable revealing to Incognito details of his struggle with mental health issues and his contemplation of suicide. In doing so, however, Incognito claimed, Martin never suggested his troubles related to his treatment by his teammates—a fact that Martin did not dispute."
To me this is should be a focal point of this entire investigation. Does it exonerate Incognito? Of course not, nothing really will but we see this is more evidence that Martin and Incognito’s relationship was far different than normal. The fact that Martin would divulge his mental health issues and his suicide thoughts to Incognito is a telling sign of the depth of their friendship. At least to me. While the “expert” Pysch docs will tell you that Martin is displaying classic signs of someone in deep depression they fail to tell you that the reaction of Incognito after this is very common as well. Incognito could have and I stress “COULD” have continued this banter with Martin feeling that he was helping his friend relax while actually making it worse.
Here is a very good example of this. Growing up the oldest of six kids I teased a sibling about being gay. All the time. It wasn’t true but I did it because I knew it riled him up and got under his skin. As he turned into an adult, my banter with him continued and when he reacted I made stronger comments…despite the fact he was married. Some months later I was pulled aside by my father who asked me to stop because those comments bothered him. The point is that my sibling made comments back to me it was banter between two brothers. I had no idea it bothered him. Why? Because he never told me it did.
"When interviewed, Martin agreed that he had developed a friendship of sorts with Incognito. He acknowledged that they had similar interests and that Incognito helped him improve as a football player. He said he freely joined Incognito at strip clubs. Martin explained that he deliberately cultivated a friendship with Incognito in part to gain acceptance on the offensive line as well as to reduce the insults streaming his way."
My feelings on this do change from time to time and at times I feel more sorry for Martin while at others I sway back to Incognito. It’s important to take that into context as it will ultimately decide my final thoughts on the matter. The issue I have here is the fact that Martin has, since he left the team, outright refused to call Incognito his friend despite the fact that the entire team saw otherwise. While the text messages show the two were close they in no way show that they were not friends. Even the messages between Martin and others only hinted at his inability and lack of strength to stand up for himself to say he didn’t like the verbal banter. I still can’t quite get over the fact that Martin continually denies his friendship with Incognito after leaving the team and his continued approach to the friendship as “just to try and fit in”.
"“Yeah these guys are insane too lol Incognito is the most bipolar person I’ve met…At one point he pulled his shirt off & tried to beat my ass yesterday . . . Then 5 min later it was like nothing even happened and we went to the strip club.”"
I wanted to highlight this quote simply because of the “LOL” in the middle. This was a message sent to one of his friends outside of the Dolphins. Presumably one of those he had confided in about not fitting in. Both Martin and Incognito used the term “Bi-Polar” quite often in reference to their friendship.
"Martin claimed that there is a general code in football against “snitching” on fellow players and that he did his best to honor that rule. The Dolphins offensive line enforced this general prohibition with their own peculiar rule—the so-called “Judas” code, which was buttressed by the imposition of fines"
The report begins to steer away from Martin vs. Incognito at about page 37. Yes I have only got that far but this will speed up considerably as we move forward. The above text comes from a section relating the knowledge that the Dolphins have in regards to the harassment. The report concludes that Oline coach Jim Turner was “not credible” about his knowledge of the “Judas-code” where it was highlighted you didn’t snitch on your teammates. This has been a driven point as to why Martin didn’t feel comfortable going to his coaches. Turner also denied any knowledge of the “gay” remarks towards McDonald despite the fact that everyone else said he did. I won’t go into much detail here as this needs to remain about Richie and Martin.
I will conclude this section with the Wells’ reports conclusion that Turner did know and at times participated in some of the harassment towards McDonald but NOT towards Martin. The text messages to Martin after he left the team and Incognito’s beating in the media have been a point of contention with Turner telling Martin to “do the right thing”. This section of the report also details some of the racial slurs and comments directed as the teams Asian assistant trainer. The report concludes that head trainer Kevin O’neill witnessed this harassment and at one point laughed but to some degree became a hostile interviewee as he didn’t want to fully cooperate with the investigation.
"The Fine Book"
The fine book was a stupid ledger that had stupid fines written in it. The ledger docked players for everything from farting to being nerds to whatever else they felt they could dock a player. The Wells report sticks to one ledger entry by Incognito fining himself $250.00 for “Breaking Jmart” and awarding the money to Nate Garner for “not breaking first”. The entire offensive team asserts that this was not an intention to get either player to leave the team but to see who would say something first. The money that was collected in these “courts” was used as a year end party for the unit. Personally I find it stupid but 100% innocent and non-important in the case of Martin. I feel that the Wells’ report is making this out to be something far more than it is.
We are now over 2,00o words so I’m going to break this into a 3rd article for easier reading.