From left: Dolphins linemen Mike Pouncey, Richie Incognito, and John Jerry. While Incognito was identified as a bullying leader, all three took part, according to the report. Allen Eyestone/The Palm Beach Post/ZUMA
Last fall, the NFL hired lawyer Ted Wells to investigate the Miami Dolphins in the wake of offensive tackle Jonathan Martin's claims that he'd been bullied by teammate Richie Incognito. Martin, as you'll recall, left the team in October, and details of the alleged bullying — including claims that Incognitio used racial slurs — trickled out over the following days and weeks. The Wells Report was released today, and it found that three Dolphins starters, including Incognito, John Jerry, and Mike Pouncey (op: he of "Free Murderer Aaron Hernandez" fame), "engaged in a pattern of harassment" of Martin, another young Dolphins lineman, and a member of the training staff. It also rejected claims by Incognito that Martin fabricated claims of harassment.
You can read the full 144-page report here, and there's a lot of new information, including heartbreaking correspondence between Martin and his parents. Here are just some of Wells's findings:
• On two occasions in 2013, Martin contemplated committing suicide.
• In a team "kangaroo court," Incognito recorded a $200 fine for himself for "breaking Jmart," (i.e., causing an emotional reaction to taunting), and he recorded a number of penalties for Martin for acting like a "pussy." Another lineman who had been taunted was awarded $250 for "not cracking first." After reports about alleged bullying became public, Incognito texted Pouncey and Nate Garner, another teammate, and told them to destroy the fine book. Neither did. (page 42: "They're trying to suspend me Please destroy the fine book first thing in the morning.")
• Incognito, Jerry, and Pouncey made sexually explicit comments about Martin's sister, a med student they'd never met. Examples include:
"We are going to run train on your sister. She loves me. I’m going to fuck her without a condom and cum in her cunt."
"Hey, Jmart’s sister is in town. Get the plastic sheets ready, she’s a squirter."
"I’m going to bang the shit out of her and spit on her and treat her like shit."
"Hear your sister has a wolf-puss. A fat, hairy pussy."
• Incognito also sent crude text messages to Martin and other linemen, such as "I flew jmarts sister into Indy. My dick is dry and needs some of her healing squirt juices."
• Martin recalled that Incognito, Jerry, and Pouncey would simulate having sex with Martin's sister during stretching exercises.
• Incognito subjected Martin to racial slurs, including this April 6, 2013 voice mail:
"Hey, wassup, you half-n*gger piece of shit. I saw you on Twitter, you been training 10 weeks. I’ll shit in your fuckin’ mouth. I’m gonna slap your fuckin’ mouth, I’m gonna slap your real mother across the face [laughter]. Fuck you, you’ re still a rookie. I’ll kill you."
• Incognito also made jokes about slavery, and referred to Martin as "liberal mulatto bitch," "stinky Pakistani," "shine box," and "darkness." Jerry and Pouncey also taunted him by saying his wasn't "black enough."
• During the 2013 season, Incognito began referring to Martin as "my bitch" or "the O-line's bitch." During Martin's rookie season in 2012, Incognito, Jerry, and Pouncey regularly called Martin a "cunt," a "bitch," a "pussy" and a "faggot." Incognito said that the purpose of verbal taunts was to "get under the skin" of a teammate, and that "the statements in question were an accepted part of the everyday camaraderie of the Dolphins tight-knit offensive line."
• Incognito, Jerry, and Pouncey also subjected another Dolphins lineman, referred to in the report as "Player A," to hurtful treatment. Player A was called a "fag" or "faggot," and Incognito reportedly accused him of "sucking dick" and asked him "Where's your boyfriend?" Incognito and others said that Incognito, Jerry and Pouncey routinely touched Player A in what the report calls "a mockingly suggestive manner."
• According to Martin, Pouncey once physically restrained Player A, and in front of his teammates, jokingly told Jerry to "come get some pussy." Jerry responded by touching Player A’s buttocks in a way that simulated anal penetration. (Pouncey and Jerry denied that accusation. From the report: "Given the seriousness of this allegation and the conflicting recollections, we decline to make any findings about this particular alleged incident.")
• Dolphins offensive line coach Jim Turner was aware of the running "joke" that Player A was gay and once participated in the taunting. For Christmas 2012, he gave female inflatable dolls to all of the offensive linemen as a gag gift, except for Player A, who received a male doll.
• Incognito, in an attempt to show that the treatment of Player A was light-hearted, pointed out that Martin joined in by coming up with the nickname "Loose Booty" for Player A. Incognito also pointed out that Martin sent him a joking text message, in which Martin said that he would give Player A "bath salts & lock him in your house with a tranquilizer gun & a box of sandpaper condoms." (Martin admitted that he sent texts to Incognito alluding to the "joke" about Player A being gay, but says he never made such remarks to Player A's face because it might hurt his feelings.)
• A member of the training staff who was born in Japan and is referred to in the report as "the Assistant Trainer" was the target of insults related to his race. Incognito, Jerry, and Pouncey admitted that they referred to him as "Jap" and "Chinaman," and according to Martin, they also called him a "dirty communist" and a "North Korean." They made demands like "give me some water you fucking chink," and spoke in a mocking Asian accent, including asking for "rubby rubby sucky sucky."
• On December 7, 2012, the anniversary of Pearl Harbor, Incognito, Jerry, and Pouncey wore traditional Japanese headbands and jokingly threatened to harm the assistant trainer in retaliation for the Pearl Harbor attack.
• Incognito and an former Dolphins lineman, who is referred to in the report as Player B and, like Incognito, is white, communicated via text about buying guns, apparently for recreational purposes. But the conversation "veered into jokes about shooting black people" (page 103):
Player B: Especially if u plan living in Arizona in the future, that’s exactly what you want
Incognito: Yea. For picking off zombies
Player B: Lol isn’t that why we own any weapons!?
Incognito: That and black people
Player B: Mmm def all black ppl
And then four days later, Incognito and Player texted about rifle scopes:
Player B: Yes. That’s a solid optic made specifically for a .308 battle rifle
Incognito: Perfect for shooting black people
Player B: Lol exactly
Player B: Or Jeff Ireland
• Incognito and other linemen told Martin he had to pay a $10,000 fine to the team's "kangaroo court" for missing a group trip to Las Vegas in 2013. (Kangaroo court fines otherwise generally ranged from $10 to $500.) Incognito and others say they were joking when they told him to pay, but Martin did, by check, and said that he didn't believe they were joking.
• Martin tells his parents about the taunting and his struggles with depression (page 15):
"I care about my legacy as a professional athlete. But I'm miserable currently. A therapist & medication won't help me gain the respect of my teammates. I really don't know what to do Mom."
"People call me a Nigger to my face. Happened 2 days ago. And I laughed it off. Because I am too nice of a person. They say terrible things about my sister. I don't do anything. I suppose it's white private school conditioning, turning the other cheek"
"I'm never gonna change. I got punked again today. Like a little bitch. And I never do anything about it.
I was sobbing in a rented yacht bathroom earlier"
• Martin texts a friend with the pros and cons of continuing to play football (page 112):
-Football games are fun
-I can make a lot of money playing football and be set for life
-I have a legacy that will live after I die
-not many people get to live their childhood dream
-I am the left tackle for the Miami dolphins
-if I quit, I'll be known as a quitter for the rest of my life
-my legacy at Stanford will be tarnished
-I will never be able to look any coach from my past in the eye
-I hate going in everyday.
-I am unable to socialize with my teammates in their crude manner
-I already have a lot of money. I could travel the world, get my degree. Then get a real job
-I could lose 70 lbs and feel good about my body
-I won't die from CTE
-Maybe I'll start to LIKE myself
-I don't need to live lavishly. I could live very frugally
-why do I care about these people? All I need is my family
• Incognito leaks Martin's texts to a reporter: After Martin left the team, he received a series of friendly text messages from Incognito—Martin believes they were sent with the intention of leaking them to the media and clearing his name.
Incognito: How u doing buddy? Feeling better?? I miss us
Martin: Wassup man? The worlds gone crazy lol I'm good tho congrats on the win
Incognito: Thanks dude It's unbelievable all the attention this is getting. All that's important is that you feel better and know we miss u dude
Martin: Yeah I'm good man. It's insane bro but just know I don't blame you guys at all it's just the culture around football and the locker room got to me a little.
Martin: Btw... Never check yourself into a mental hospital
An hour later, NFL.com Jeff Darlington reported the exchange, posting the single Tweet where Martin said "I don't blame you guys at all." Incognito admitted leaking the conversation with Darlington. Just hours later, Incognito conducted a text conversation with Mike Pouncey:
Incognito: Fuck Jmart That faggot is never [allowed] back
Pouncey: Bro I said the same thing I can't even look at him the same he's a pussy
Incognito: My agent just asked if we held mandatory strip club meetings Jmart is fucking ratting on everyone
Pouncey: Lol wow are you serious he is a fuck boy
Pouncey: He's not welcome back bro I can't be around that fucking guy
Incognito: Fuck that guy if Ur not with [u]s Ur against us
Pouncey: No question bro he's a coward for snitching
Incognito: Snitches get stitches Blood in blood out Fucking guy Pouncey: He's dead to me
• Jim Turner pressures Martin to clear Incognito: On Nov. 2, 2013, O-Line coach Jim Turner sent a series of text messages to the recently hospitalized Martin urging him to release a statement absolving Incognito and other Dolphins players of any blame.
Turner: Richie incognito is getting hammered on national TV. This is not right. You could put an end to all the rumors with a simple statement. DO THE RIGHT THING. NOW.
Martin: Coach. I want to put out a statement. Believe me I do. This thing has become such a huge story somehow. But I've been advised not to... And I'm not supposed to text anyone either cuz last time I responded to a teammate (Richie) I was intentionally manipulated and the conversation was immediately forwarded to a reporter.
Turner: He is protecting himself. He has been beat up for 4 days. Put an end to this. You are a grown man. Do the right thing
Turner: John I want the best for you and your health but make a statement and take the heat off Richie and the lockerroom. This isn't right.
Turner [The next day]: I know you are a man of character. Where is it?
• Martin alleges Incognito physically assaulted him: At the team's 2012 Christmas party,
According to Martin, what began as inoffensive pushing and shoving with Incognito escalated to play boxing and then suddenly took a more aggressive turn when Incognito took off his shirt, tackled him onto a sofa, and began punching him in the body and the face (though not hard enough to bruise or draw blood). Martin said he struggled to get Incognito off of him until several of his teammates broke up the scuffle.
Martin claimed (and other players agreed) that Incognito had a loud, belligerent side of his personality, which some called the "Tornado," and which allegedly tended to emerge after Incognito had been drinking. In Martin's view, the "Tornado" attacked him at the Christmas party.
Incognito told investigators that it was just playful "horsing around."
• Martin backs out of team Vegas trip: The offensive line planned to go to Las Vegas in January of 2012. Martin did not want to attend and spend any more time with his teammates, and told them he would arrive a day late—his first step toward backing out altogether. He exchanged these texts with Incognito:
Martin: Yo you flying into Vegas Thursday?
Incognito: Yea, 3;30
Martin: Ok cool. I'm getting in Friday, I got a meeting that morning. When you leaving, Monday?
Incognito: Friday…. R u fucking serious
Martin: Yup… Don't worry I know I still gotta pay for hookers lol
Martin: I gotta get at least one for [Player A]…
Incognito: Don't forget the cocaine too
Incognito: No dude hookers u faggot
Incognito: Don't blame ur gay tendancies on [Player A]
Martin: I'm gonna get more bitches in 2 nights than all of you combined
Incognito: Stop it. By bitches u mean cocks in ur mouth
Incognito: U fucking mulatto liberal bitch
Incognito: I'm going to shit in ur eye
Incognito: Goodnight slut
Incognito: Tell ur squirting sister I said hi
Martin: Ah yes I missed being demeaned by you boys lol… Can't wait for this weekend
• On April 22, 2013, Martin wrote to his mother:
"I figured out a major source of my anxiety. I'm a push over, a people pleaser. I avoid confrontation whenever I can, I always want everyone to like me. I let people talk about me, say anything to my face, and I just take it, laugh it off, even when I know they are intentionally trying to disrespect me. I mostly blame the soft schools I went to, which fostered within me a feeling that I'm a huge pussy, as I never got into fights. I used to get verbally bullied every day in middle school and high school, by kids that are half my size. I would never fight back, just get sad & feel like no one wanted to be my friend, when in fact I was just being socially awkward. Most people in that situation are witty & quick with sarcastic replies, I never have been. I'm awkward around people a lot of the time because I simply don't know how to act around them."
op: whoever "player A" is, i hope he is okay. sounds like he needs some help and support.