One of the overarching themes of the Ted Wells report boils down to the difference between the way Dolphins guard Richie Incognito and others behaved toward Jonathan Martin and others and how Incognito perceived those behaviors.
What appears to one person as boorish and irrational and abusive is often explained away as the all-in-good-fun nature of a locker room.
But according to the report, Incognito so often slipped into “a loud, belligerent side of his personality,” that he was nicknamed “The Tornado.”
One of the incidents described included the Tornado beating on Jonathan Martin during an offensive line outing.
Via a series of text messages from Martin to a friend, Martin described a scene in which Incognito “pulled his shirt off & tried to beat my ass.”
Martin said they were “play fighting” at first, but Incognito “body slammed me onto the couch and started punching me in the face it was insane.”
“Then 5 min later it was like nothing even happened and we went to the strip club,” a later message read.
Martin didn’t express anger at Incognito in the next day’s text messages, which he described as trying to “laugh off harassment.”
Incognito did not dispute the account of the facts, “but disagreed strongly about what those facts tell us about his relationship with Martin.”
Incognito described the fight as “friendly roughhousing, consistent with the way members of the offensive line tended to ‘horse around’ from time to time.”
Incognito has made a living in the NFL by tapping into that “Tornado” persona on the field, but apparently the line was blurred when it extended off the field, and that’s when Martin had a problem with it.