The Jonathan Martin and Richie Incognito bullying scandal has come to a conclusion based on an investigative report by NFL investigator Ted Wells released on Friday. As ESPN reports on Feb. 14, the report has confirmed Martin’s allegations of bullying, concluding that Miami Dolphins players Richie Incognito, John Jerry and Mike Pouncey indeed engaged in a patter of harassment.
According to findings from the report, the harassment didn’t stop at Martin. Another young Dolphins offensive linemen and an assistant trainer were also on the receiving end of the harassment. In the investigation that began on Nov. 6, Wells found that the players led by Incognito displayed a deep level of verbal abuse on the trainer and the other player.
“The Report finds that the assistant trainer repeatedly was the object of racial slurs and other racially derogatory language; that the other offensive lineman was subjected to homophobic name-calling and improper physical touching; and that 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.”
As Jonathan Martin was accused of making up the claims, the report proves otherwise. Wells did find evidence of the bullying and harassment claims which led to Incognito’s eventual suspension. It also conflicts Incognito’s recent claims that he was innocent of all claims as his intent was to point doubt back at Martin and his intentions.
Wells had thousands of voluntarily produced documents, including text messages, emails and team polices to back up his findings. He also completed more than 100 interviews with players, coaches and front-office personnel.
The only part of Martin’s allegations that the findings do not support is that he suffered emotional distress at the hands of his teammates. Although the harassment may have led to lasting emotional distress for Martin, it was not the intent of Incognito and the other players named.
The Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross states that he is reviewing the report and the team is doing further research on the “serious allegations.”
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