WEST PALM BEACH (Palm Beach Post) -- The NFL this morning released its report on the investigation of the Dolphins’ locker-room culture.
The 140-page report, by independent investigator Ted Well, looked into claims by Jonathan Martin that he was bullied by fellow offensive lineman Richie Incognito and others on the team.
The report not only implicates Incognito in the bullying, but also notes the involvement of fellow Dolphins linemen John Jerry and Mike Pouncey in harassment.
Wells wrote that on two occasions in 2013, Martin considered suicide. Wells said that Martin OKd release of this information.
The report also reveals inappropriate treatment toward another young offensive lineman as well as an assistant trainer.
The report said “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.
“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 rejects any suggestion that Martin manufactured claims of abuse after the fact to cover up an impetuous decision to leave the team. Contemporaneous text messages that Martin sent to his parents and others months before he left the Dolphins — which have never before been made public—corroborate his account that the persistent harassment by his teammates caused him significant emotional distress.
“The Report concludes that the harassment by Martin’s teammates was a contributing factor in his decision to leave the team, but also finds that Martin’s teammates did not intend to drive Martin from the team or cause him lasting emotional injury.”
The report concludes that the NFL needs new guidelines to prevent bullying and harassment of players:
“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.”
Dolphins owner Stephen Ross avoided commenting on the substane of the report.
“We have just received the report from Ted Wells and will review it in detail before responding relative to the findings,” he said in a statement this morning. “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 organization, we are committed to a culture of team-first accountability and respect for one another.“