The Miami Dolphins’ Richie Incognito and two other players engaged in a “pattern of harassment” against Jonathan Martin and others, says a 144-page report by an independent investigator
for the NFL.
According to NFL.com, the report found that Martin
, as well as another offensive lineman and an assistant trainer, were abused by Incognito, John Jerry, and Mike Pouncey. The Dolphins suspended Incognito in November.
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“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," Ted Wells, who investigated the issue, said in a statement.
The report indicated that text messages exchanged by Martin and Incognito showed both of them joked and talked in vulgar ways. The investigators said they had a difficult time determining findings because the two men had a “bipolar” or up-and-down friendship.
“Nonetheless, we ultimately concluded that Martin was indeed harassed by Incognito, who can fairly be described as the main instigator, and by (John) Jerry and (Mike) Pouncey, who tended to follow Incognito’s lead,” the report said. “In reaching this conclusion, we were significantly influenced by multiple factors, including the flagrantly inappropriate treatment of the Assistant Trainer and Player A, which, independent of Martin’s claims, reflected a pattern of harassment.”
Mark Schamel, Incognito’s attorney, told NFL.com Friday that the report contained errors and that Incognito reiterated that Martin was not bullied by the Dolphins’ offensive line.
“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,” NFL.com quoted from Wells’ statement about the report.
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