Wells finds Incognito responsible in Dolphins scandalFebruary 14, 2014
NFL investigator Ted Wells' report on the Miami Dolphins' bullying scandal concluded that Richie Incognito, John Jerry and Mike Pouncey engaged in a pattern of harassment directed at not only Jonathan Martin, but another young Dolphins offensive lineman and an assistant trainer.
The findings of Wells' report were released on Friday. He was retained by commissioner Roger Goodell on November 6 to examine the club's workplace environment.
"The report concludes that three starters on the Dolphins offensive line, Richie Incognito, John Jerry and Mike Pouncey, engaged in a pattern of harassment directed at not only Jonathan Martin, but also another young Dolphins offensive lineman and an assistant trainer," Wells said in a press release.
"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."
The report rejected suggestions that Martin, who left the team in October amid claims of bullying and harassment, made up the claims. Incognito was eventually suspended for the final eight games of the season - six games with pay - while the NFL investigated the situation.
"We have just received the report from Ted Wells and will review it in detail before responding relative to the findings," Dolphins owner Stephen Ross said. "When we asked the NFL to conduct this independent review, we felt it was important to take a step back and thoroughly research these serious allegations. As an organisation, we are committed to a culture of team-first accountability and respect for one another."
Ross recently said he does not expect either player to return to Miami next season. Incognito is an unrestricted free agent and Martin has two years left on his contract. Martin is expected to be traded or released. Martin's agent Kenny Zuckerman said Friday his client "will be on the field 100% this season."
George Atallah, assistant executive director of NFLPA external affairs, also issued a statement.
"We received the report on workplace conditions in Miami today. We will review the findings closely, confer with our players and all relevant parties involved," Atallah said.
During the investigation, Wells reviewed thousands of voluntarily produced documents, including text messages, emails and team policies while completing more than 100 interviews. Wells talked with Dolphins players, coaches and front-office personnel.
The report did support that text messages Martin sent to his parents others before he left the team verified Martin's claim that harassment at the hands of his teammates caused him "significant emotional distress."
However, the report revealed that Martin's team-mates didn't intend to drive the left tackle from the team or cause him lasting emotional distress.