Mandatory disclaimer: Football, not my field of expertise, as you all have reason to know. Nevertheless… From NYMag:
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, “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…
The NYMag post has a bunch of deeply unpleasant details, if you haven’t already seen them.
In the interests of balance, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports that “‘Mr. Wells’ NFL report is replete with errors. The facts do not support a conclusion that Jonathan Martin’s mental health, drug use, or on field performance issues were related to the treatment by his teammates,’ the statement from Incognito’s attorney Mark Schamel stated.”
Outsourcing judgement to Eric Sollenberger at SB Nation:
There is absolutely nothing that came out in the Richie Incognito/Jonathan Martin report from Ted Wells that can be taken to mean anything else. Enough about this “locker room culture” crap. There is no such thing as “locker room culture.” This is just a phrase used by people who are uncomfortable with good athletes being reasonably called out on deplorable behavior. What happened in the Miami Dolphins locker room can be described as nothing else but a group of man-children hiding behind a veneer of alpha male-ism in a society that excuses their stupid actions…
It’s an NFL problem because it was done with the blessing of the coaching staff. Given the NFL’s policy on hiring dipshits who have been fired by three other teams, this is not an isolated incident. This was done systematically under the guise of “team-building.”
I’ve never known any effective “team-building” exercise that involves keeping a spiral notebook outlining fines for “breaking” someone to the verge of psychosis. You don’t get “broken” by your peers and come back fine the next day. You come back with a deep resentment of them and more importantly, of yourself, that you try to mask by attempting to be just as big of an asshole as they are…
If Incognito was one of the dumb thugs in the working-class Bronx neighborhood where I grew up, we’d congratulate him on having painted a target on his own back, because being outed as a ‘gunslinger’ means there will always be some other wannabe tough guy looking to take you down in public. But, hey, that was forty years ago — the basic rules of primate social behavior don’t seem to have changed much, but I’m sure the personal defense systems have gotten much more sophisticated.