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Thread: NFL investigator finds three Dolphins OL engaged in harassment

  1. #1
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    NFL investigator finds three Dolphins OL engaged in harassment

    Wells finds Incognito responsible
    Updated: February 14, 2014, 11:54 AM ET
    By James Walker | ESPN.com

    NFL investigator Ted Wells' report on the Miami Dolphins' bullying scandal concluded that Richie Incognito, John Jerry and Mike Pouncey engaged in a pattern of harassment directed at not only Jonathan Martin, but another young Dolphins offensive lineman and an assistant trainer.

    The findings of Wells' report were released Friday. He was retained by commissioner Roger Goodell on Nov. 6 to examine the club's workplace environment.

    "The Report concludes 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," Wells said in a press release. "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 rejected suggestions that Martin, who left the team in October amid claims of bullying and harassment, made up the claims. Incognito was eventually suspended for the final eight games of the season -- six games with pay -- while the NFL investigated the situation.

    "We have just received the report from Ted Wells and will review it in detail before responding relative to the findings," Dolphins owner Stephen Ross said. "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."

    Ross recently said he doesn't expect either player to return to Miami next season. Incognito is an unrestricted free agent and Martin has two years left on his contract. Martin is expected to be traded or released. Martin's agent Kenny Zuckerman said Friday his client "will be on the field 100 percent this season."

    George Atallah, assistant executive director of NFLPA external affairs, also issued a statement.

    "We received the report on workplace conditions in Miami today. We will review the findings closely, confer with our players and all relevant parties involved," Atallah said.

    During the investigation, Wells reviewed thousands of voluntarily produced documents, including text messages, emails and team policies) while completing more than 100 interviews. Wells talked with Dolphins players, coaches and front-office personnel.

    The report did support that text messages Martin sent to his parents others before he left the team verified Martin's claim that harassment at the hands of his teammates caused him "significant emotional distress."

    However, the report revealed that Martin's teammates didn't intend to drive the left tackle from the team or cause him lasting emotional distress.


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    Re: NFL investigator finds three Dolphins OL engaged in harassment


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    Re: NFL investigator finds three Dolphins OL engaged in harassment

    I skimmed the report, and here is my conclusion.

    There are three contributing factors to what happened in Miami:

    1. The general culture of NFL locker rooms;
    2. Jonathan Martin's unusually high sensitivity level; and
    3. The extreme level (beyond normal locker room behavior) of bully tactics employed by Incognito and his cohorts.

    We could debate until the end of time the question of the relative proportion each of these three factors played in this matter, but I am convinced that all three were what we refer to in law as "but for" causes (in other words, no one or two of the three factors would have produced the result - you needed all three).

    Given this, I think the following remedial measures will need to be taken:

    1. The league should institute a policy regarding the line between "normal locker room behavior" and bullying;

    2. The Dolphins should receive some form of penalty from the league for failing to discourage and to provide a mechanism for reporting matters of this type;

    3. Incognito and his cohorts deserve tangible punishments, such as suspensions and fines (Incognito may have some "time served" already, but I would not oppose additional penalties); and

    4. Jonathan Martin should strongly consider (if he is not already receiving) psychological treatment before he returns to the game.
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    Re: NFL investigator finds three Dolphins OL engaged in harassment

    AV, does this report open the door for a civil suit from Martin against A) the "Incognito 3"...(term trademarked by HUb Enterprises); and/or B) the Dolphins; and/or C) the NFL?
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: NFL investigator finds three Dolphins OL engaged in harassment

    Definitely against the Dolphins and Incoginito & Co.

    Against the Dolphins, he could sue for racial harassment under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Florida Civil Rights Act. The key issues would be (1) was the harassment based on race; (2) were the acts of racial harassment severe or pervasive, (3) was it unwelcome, and (4) did the Dolphins fail to provide a clear procedure for reporting and obtaining relief from these type of comments. Moreover, if the Dolphins retaliated (as it is suggested the OL coach may have) after Martin complained, that could be an additional claim under these statutes.

    He could also sue the Dolphins in common law for negligent retention and supervision.

    Against the individual bullies, he could have claims for assault, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress and (possibly) defamation.

    Pursuing a claim against the NFL would be much more difficult, as the NFL was not his employer. Frankly, given that the NFL conducted the investigation that provides him with his best evidence, I don't think it would be strategically wise to go after the league.
    Last edited by AvengerRam; -02-14-2014 at 03:22 PM.
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    Re: NFL investigator finds three Dolphins OL engaged in harassment

    Glad Jake Long was not involved, I wonder if he wanted out of there because he knew this was going on.

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    Re: NFL investigator finds three Dolphins OL engaged in harassment

    Quote Originally Posted by Rambos View Post
    Glad Jake Long was not involved, I wonder if he wanted out of there because he knew this was going on.
    I've read some fan speculation that Long is "Player B" in the discussion with Incognito about guns (pg.35-36).

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    Re: NFL investigator finds three Dolphins OL engaged in harassment

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    I've read some fan speculation that Long is "Player B" in the discussion with Incognito about guns (pg.35-36).
    Read it not good.

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    Re: NFL investigator finds three Dolphins OL engaged in harassment

    My advice for Jonathan Martin....go to your local mall and apply for a position at Build A Bear Workshop.

    Helping little girls stuff their Teddy bears, pick out costumes, and then dress them would be the perfect, low-stress work environment. Not very likely that he would get bullied much there, and even if he did, I'm sure he could handle himself if the bullies were toddlers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yodude View Post
    My advice for Jonathan Martin....go to your local mall and apply for a position at Build A Bear Workshop.

    Helping little girls stuff their Teddy bears, pick out costumes, and then dress them would be the perfect, low-stress work environment. Not very likely that he would get bullied much there, and even if he did, I'm sure he could handle himself if the bullies were toddlers.
    My advice to you: don't give advice to others.

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    Re: NFL investigator finds three Dolphins OL engaged in harassment

    Quote Originally Posted by AvengerRam View Post
    My advice to you: don't give advice to others.
    Good thing I don't take advice from others, but thanks anyway.
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    Re: NFL investigator finds three Dolphins OL engaged in harassment

    Quote Originally Posted by Yodude View Post
    My advice for Jonathan Martin....go to your local mall and apply for a position at Build A Bear Workshop.

    Helping little girls stuff their Teddy bears, pick out costumes, and then dress them would be the perfect, low-stress work environment. Not very likely that he would get bullied much there, and even if he did, I'm sure he could handle himself if the bullies were toddlers.
    Nobody wants to be in a workplace where the sole intention of 3 of your colleagues is to give you **** relentlessly. Just because he's a big guy and it's the NFL doesn't make it any different.
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    Re: NFL investigator finds three Dolphins OL engaged in harassment

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post
    I've read some fan speculation that Long is "Player B" in the discussion with Incognito about guns (pg.35-36).
    As the report notes, the text conversation between Incognito and Player B was merely "thoughtless banter" and didn't equate to "malicious intent". But as far as identifying Player B, it wouldn't be much of a stretch to zero in on Long. The conversation took place in December 2012. The Dolphins starting O-line in 2012 consisted of Martin, Incognito, Jerry, Pouncey (all 4 named in the report) and Jake Long.

    Additionally, Player B takes a small shot at Jeff Ireland. Not to far out of bounds to think that a soon-to-be (at that time) free agent, who inevitably went elsewhere, would have some animus towards the GM.

    And I'm left to assume that when the report says a "former Dolphins offensive lineman", they mean to say he is currently former; not former as of December 2012.

    Probably a safe bet that Long is Player B.
    "Before the gates of excellence the high gods have placed sweat; long is the road thereto and rough and steep at first; but when the heights are reached, then there is ease, though grievously hard in the winning." --- Hesiod

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    Re: NFL investigator finds three Dolphins OL engaged in harassment

    Not to defend this too greatly, but I find it hard to find any racial motivation behind the whole thing given that a number of the participants were black. I've not read the full report though.

    I think it's more of a case that they picked out a weak personality and attacked that.

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