If Richie Incognito was waiting for exoneration, he may need to wait a bit longer. Or a lot longer.
A lengthy report issued Friday by independent investigator Ted Wells concludes that three members of the starting Miami 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 concludes that the assistant trainer “repeatedly was the object of racial slurs and other racially derogatory language,” that the other lineman “was subject 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 rejects any suggestion that Martin manufactured claims of abuse after the fact to cover up an impetuous decision to leave the team,” the press release announcing the report states. “Contemporaneous text messages that Martin sent to his parents and others months before he left the Dolphins — which have never before been made public — corroborate his account that the persistent harassment by his teammates caused him significant emotional distress. 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.”
In other words, Incognito, Jerry, and Pouncey didn’t specially mean to compel Martin to abandon the team, or to otherwise harm him emotionally. But they nevertheless did, as evidenced by the communications in which Martin was engaging with his family members
Wells plans no press conference. “The Report is thorough and comprehensive, and speaks for itself,” Well said.
Indeed it does. The report plus appendices fills 144 pages. We’ll now brew another pot of coffee and read the whole thing.