Report Alleges ‘Pattern of Harassment’ in Dolphins Locker Room
MIAMI (WGGB) — The NFL’s investigation into allegations of harassment in the Miami Dolphins locker room concluded with a report on Friday confirming those claims, saying it was even more widespread than first thought.
Investigator Ted Wells released his 144-page report, in which he details what he calls a “pattern of harassment” endured by rookie offensive lineman Jonathan Martin and other players and staff. Martin first brought the allegations against fellow Dolphins lineman Richie Incognito when Martin left the team due to emotional distress on October 28.
According to ESPN, Friday’s report details verbal abuse from Incognito, along with linemen John Jerry and Mike Pouncey, against Martin, plus another offensive lineman and a member of the training staff. Incognito was suspended from the team in November, after the allegations came to light.
The other two victims were not identified in the report. Investigators say it was easy to determine that the second lineman faced homophobic verbal harassment, and the member of the training staff endured racial taunts for being Japanese. Dolphins offensive line coach Jim Turner told investigators that he was aware of the running joke that this lineman was gay, and said that he even participated in the jokes.
The report says investigating Martin’s situation was more nuanced. However, they did recover a notebook, in which Incognito detailed financial bonuses and fines, but where he also allegedly claimed to have “broken” Martin. Investigators say Incognito tried to have teammates destroy the notebook before investigators found it, but they were unsuccessful.
Wells concluded that claims that Martin’s allegations were a made-up excuse to leave the team were false. Incognito’s lawyer maintains that many of the facts in the report were falsified and that neither Incognito, nor many member of the offensive line, harassed Martin.
The NFL did not indicate that any further penalties would stem from the report. Incognito was suspended for the final 8 games of the 2013 regular season, 2 of which were without pay. Under current contractual situations, both Martin and Incognito were unlikely to return to Miami, regardless of the results of the report.