Ted Wells released his independent report Friday to the NFL concerning allegations of workplace misconduct with the Miami Dolphins. The entire 144-page report can be read here.
The biggest takeaway from the report: There was a consistent pattern of harassment by Dolphins offensive linemen Richie Incognito, John Jerry and Mike Pouncey.
The harassment not only was directed at Martin, but also at an unnamed Dolphins offensive lineman and an assistant trainer.
There is a lot to digest in the entire report, but we boiled down some of the key passages from the report below:
» The most concise summary of the harassment: "We find that the Assistant Trainer repeatedly was targeted with racial slurs and other racially derogatory language. Player A frequently was subjected to homophobic name-calling and improper physical touching. 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."
» "We reject the assertion by Incognito that Martin has fabricated claims of harassment after the fact."
» Martin was subjected to bullying in high school, which led to depression and issues with self-esteem. Martin said he contemplated suicide in 2013.
» "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."
» Incognito kept track of fines within the offensive line group. He fined himself $200 once for "breaking" Martin, which was causing Martin to crack. Incognito wrote down a number of fines for Martin after he left the team in October. The fines were for being a "(p----)."
A text message Incognito sent to his offensive linemen in early November: "They're going to suspend me Please destroy the fine 4 book first thing in the morning."
» "In short, the treatment of Martin and others in the Miami Dolphins organization at times was offensive and unacceptable in any environment, including the world professional football players inhabit," the report read. "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."
»"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."
» The "Executive Summary" of the findings has 15 takeaways: "1) Martin Was Subjected to Persistent Harassing Language. Martin was most troubled by persistent and graphic comments about his sister. 2) The Harassment Humiliated Martin and Contributed to His Mental Health Issues. 3) The Mistreatment of Martin Is Consistent with a Case of Workplace Bullying.
"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 Unclear. 8) The Culture of the Dolphins Offensive Line Does Not Excuse the Mistreatment of Martin. 10) Martin Never Reported the Abuse to the Dolphins Organization.
"11) The Fine Book Shows that Incognito Knew that the Harassment Affected Martin. 12) No Malicious Physical Attack of Martin Occurred at a 2012 Christmas Party. 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
» Jerry and Pouncey downplayed or denied making vulgar comments about Martin's family. The report not find Jerry or Pouncey's denials credible.
» Offensive line coach Jim Turner at least once participated in taunting the unnamed Dolphins offensive lineman. The lineman was consistently taunted with homophobic insults. Turner purchased a male blow up doll for the lineman.
» "With respect to the Assistant Trainer and Player A, Incognito's proffered excuses for the abuse were the same: it was all harmless fun, they willingly participated and joked back, and no one was offended. But just like Martin, the evidence shows that Player A went along with unwanted conduct because he was a young player."
» "We found that the Assistant Trainer, who was born in Japan, was the target of frequent and persistent harassment, including insults relating to his race and national origin."
This included joking threats -- with props -- to harm the trainer on the anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.
» "One player, whom we found credible, said that Incognito was 'a good player, but he is kind of a disease; he divides a locker room. ... (Incognito) is the kind of guy who has to be the alpha male.' "
» Martin expressed disappointment in himself to his father for "laughing off" racist language.
"People call me a (n-word) to my face," Martin told his father in a text. "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 said that he considered suicide after a May 4 yacht trip with other Dolphins offensive linemen in which Martin was "verbally humiliated" throughout the day.
» Offensive line coach Jim Turner sent the following text to Martin on November 2, after Incognito was implicated publicly in his role in the workplace harassment.
"Richie incognito is getting hammered on national TV. This is not right. You could put an end to all the rumors with a simple statement. DO THE RIGHT THING. NOW."
Later texts, included: "I know you are a man of character. Where is it?" and "It is never to late to do the right thing!"
"Turner sent these text messages to Martin knowing that Martin had hospitalized himself in connection with a mental health condition, and in the face of public reports indicating that Martin's emotional condition may have been a reaction to his teammates' bullying and abusive behavior," Wells' report said.
» Philbin questioned Incognito on November 2. Incognito told Philbin that Martin was his friend and denied the allegations.
"Incognito also urged the Dolphins to issue a statement clearing him and raised the possibility of publicly disclosing Martin's mental health issues. Coach Philbin asked Incognito not to pursue this approach, and he did not.
Also around that time: "Coach Philbin also questioned Coach Turner, who assured him that the press reports of abusive treatment of Martin were unfounded, that there had been no bullying on the offensive line and that none of his players had been called 'vulgar names.' Coach Philbin told us that he advised Turner that such conduct 'better not be happening.' "
» The report's conclusion: "As all must surely recognize, the NFL is not an ordinary workplace. Professional football is a rough, contact sport played by men of exceptional size, speed, strength and athleticism.
"But even the largest, strongest and fleetest person may be driven to despair by bullying, taunting and constant insults. We encourage the creation of new workplace conduct rules and guidelines that will help ensure that players respect each other as professionals and people."