The Ted Wells report into the bullying allegation brought upon the Miami Dolphins by tackle Jonathan Martin has finally been released. This is the culmination of a nearly-four month investigation into the team's locker room culture, and the factors that led to Martin leaving the team, and the suspension of guard Richie Incognito.
The 142-page report details a pattern of harassment toward Martin, as well as another offensive lineman, only identified as "Player A" and an Assistant Trainer, not just by Incognito, but also by center Mike Pouncey and guard John Jerry. The report finds, "After a thorough examination of the facts, we conclude that three starters of the Dolphins offensive line, Richie Incognito, John Jerry and Mike Pouncey, engaged in a pattern of harassment..."
It continues to explain that the Assistant Trainer was the target of racial slurs and other "racially derogatory language," while Player A was "frequently subjected to homophobic name-calling and improper physical touching." Martin "was taunted on a persistent basis with secually explicit remarks about his sister and mother and at times ridiculed with racial insults and other offensive comments."
Incognito has maintained that the text messages and voicemails, many of which have been released prior to the report, were jokes intended for his friend. The report reveals Martin "developed an odd but seemingly close friendship with Incognito. Not only did both linemen report that they enjoyed socializing together, the evidence also shows that they often communicated in a vulgar manner."
Martin, however, claimed that he enjoyed the "good side" of Incognito, but that the guard also had a "bad side," with both Martin and Incognito describing the relationship as "bipolar." Martin used the bipolar term to Incognito and others in text messages.
Wells does point out that Martin "may have been particularly sensitive to insults from his teammates" after having been bullied in middle- and high-school. Never having been diagnosed, Martin described himself has having bouts of depression, and that those bouts returned during his time with the Dolphins due to his treatment from other players. He also stated that on two occasions in 2013, he did consider suicide.
Wells continues, writing, that they "ultimately concluded that Martin was indeed harassed by Incognito, who can fairly be described as the main instigator, and by Jerry and Pouncey, who tended to follow Incognito's lead." The continue, "Martin's vulnerabilities do not excuse the harassment that was directed at him. That the same taunts might have bounced off a different person is beside the point."
The report contends that Incognito's view that the treatment was simply good natured fun among friends is not accurate, however none of the players involved seemed to want to drive Martin from the team or "cause him lasting emotional injury."
The opening section of the report concludes:
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. A young football player who has the skills to play at the highest level, and who also happens to be quiet and reserved, should have the opportunity to pursue a career in the NFL without being subjected to harassment from his teammates.
You can read the full report here.