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Ex-Dolphins trainer honored, two days after he was fired

kevinoneill2 AP

On Wednesday the Dolphins fired head athletic trainer Kevin O’Neill. On Friday O’Neill’s fellow trainers honored him.

O’Neill, fired after he was accused of failing to act when Dolphins guard Richie Incognito hurled racial insults at one of the Dolphins’ assistant trainers, on Friday received the 2014 Fain-Cain Memorial Award for Outstanding Athletic Trainer of the Year by the NFL Physician’s Society. According to ESPN.com, O’Neill did not attend the ceremony at which he was honored, but when Dolphins assistant trainer Troy Maurer read a statement from O’Neill, the other trainers in attendance gave a standing ovation.

O’Neill spent 18 years with the Dolphins and was from all accounts well respected by coaches and other trainers, but the Dolphins decided to fire him after the Ted Wells report detailed the harassment of one of O’Neill’s assistants. The Wells report said that not only did O’Neill not stick up for his assistant, but he sometimes laughed along with the racist insults, and refused to cooperate with the subsequent investigation into bullying in the Dolphins’ locker room.

O’Neill reportedly disagrees with the report’s findings, and claims that he did come to the assistant trainer’s defense.

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38 Responses to “Ex-Dolphins trainer honored, two days after he was fired”
  1. lostsok says: Feb 21, 2014 8:29 PM

    Sometimes you can’t just let boys be boys. He was the “adult” in the room, which says a lot about the maturity of the millionaires we root for on Sunday…that they NEED an adult to be in the room.

    O’Neill sounds like a good guy, and is clearly a great trainer. It’s a shame Incognito’s despicable nature combined with Martin’s utter lack of backbone cost him his job.

    None of this…NONE of it…should have ever left the lockerroom.

  2. tarniman says: Feb 21, 2014 8:43 PM

    Jonathon Martin must be proud of himself he is getting good trainers fired just because he is too soft and sensitive to stand up for himself in a NFL environment. This is the 1st time I have ever heard of a NFL player complain about being bullied and it gets to this extent. The NFL has been around for a long time and there has been bulling and fight in locker room on practice field plus player hazing going on for a long time. I have played football before I know that teammates will pick at you and play pranks on each other. If you can’t handle the heat get out the kitchen don’t bring everybody out the kitchen with you. I understand that the pranks and “fun” can get out of hand and make a person feel uncomfortable…but at that point he should have stood up for himself and said hey look fellas this is not cool for me anymore and don’t want any part of this “fooling around” anymore so ya’ll need to stop Im not playing around. From this point Im just going to focus on football…whatever ya’ll got planned that doesn’t have to do with football just leave me out of it because this isn’t cool for me anymore. If you don’t we gonna have problems. Martin is a huge man he should not be getting punked so easily. The reason he is getting punked is because he doesn’t know how to stand up for himself. He is a sensitive girl in a huge man’s body.

  3. bobnelsonjr says: Feb 21, 2014 8:44 PM

    Sometimes having a sense of humor and confidence in your professional abilities gets steamrollered by lawyers and Admin weenies with a heartless PC agenda.

    Sometimes when good people are called racial names it does not matter because:

    -They know who they are, and are comfortable with themselves.
    -They are not embarrassed or ashamed of their race.
    -Names can never hurt you.
    -They know retaliation is immature.
    -Men can handle it.
    -Other employers want their services.

    Lack of action followed by overreaction witch hunts are stupid and counterproductive.

    It will be interesting to see what the Dolphins injury count next season compares to the past.

    Kevin O’Neil is going to get more money elsewhere where he will be appreciated.

  4. dolphincritic says: Feb 21, 2014 8:57 PM

    It seems a s though O’Neill was fired because he refused to violate Federal Law (HIPPA), which safeguards everyone’s privacy in regard to medical records. Ted Wells needs to be reminded that he is an officer of the court and is not above the law.

    I suspect that O’Neill’s lawsuit against the Dolphins will have more merit than Jonathan Martin’s will have. Mr. Ross has just created an enemy that can prove he did take action while Coach Philbin’s pledges that he knew nothing leaves us all with a certain skepticism. I also suspect that Martin has just found a great witness. Mr. Ross needs to get that check book out and practice writing zeroes in the amount block!

    O’Neill was fired in the most callous manner I have observed in quite some time. I think that a jury will be very sympathetic toward his own belittling experience. The Dolphin staff is rife with boorish behavior!

  5. stoolerz says: Feb 21, 2014 9:04 PM

    I hope this guy cleans out the Dolphins and the NFL for wrongful termination.

  6. thegreatgabbert says: Feb 21, 2014 9:06 PM

    The Dolphins are captiulating way too easily. Pathetic. Give the fat baby everything he demands. That worked so well for him in the past.

    The Last King Of Softland.

  7. Greg Mayfield says: Feb 21, 2014 9:08 PM

    Wow… really! It is shame that any of this transpired!

  8. meatcarroll says: Feb 21, 2014 9:13 PM

    It is absolutely appalling that this guy got fired. Jonathan Martin is the cancer that is killing the NFL.

  9. meatcarroll says: Feb 21, 2014 9:13 PM

    It is absolutely appalling that this guy got fired. Jonathan Martin is the cancer that is killing the NFL.

  10. brutusbigpaws says: Feb 21, 2014 9:25 PM

    Fired based on one report’s finding. One side. One voice. Not objective. Not impartial. I hope he sues both the Dolphins and the NFL for millions and wins.

  11. beerndrums says: Feb 21, 2014 9:40 PM

    Bad move by the Dolphins.
    They base this off of one mans opinion and that doesn’t seem fair when it sounds like a majority of the players and coaches backed R I….not Martin
    Oh well.Move on and get passed this nonsense

  12. thegreatgabbert says: Feb 21, 2014 9:55 PM

    The trainers gave Kevin a standing ovation. Followed by a minute of silence.

  13. greattastelessfilling says: Feb 21, 2014 10:05 PM

    PFT is the TMZ of sports. They have successfully taken my favorite sport and turned it into a gossip-filled reality show.

  14. thegreatgabbert says: Feb 21, 2014 10:16 PM

    O’Neill was fired for “not co-operating with the investigation”. Which essentially means not telling them what they want to hear. He was ruled In Contempt of Kangaroo Court.

  15. patssox says: Feb 21, 2014 10:20 PM

    Basically he got fired because he was a turd during the investigation. Act like an adult and cooperate. You’re not in the hood afraid to squeal on a murderer for crying out loud! Man up and be an adult.

  16. wwwmattcom says: Feb 21, 2014 10:43 PM

    The players you root for every week are children.
    The NFL is fascism at its American best.

  17. tangysizzl says: Feb 21, 2014 10:45 PM

    Its not south beach but I know the Green Bay Packers could use a good trainer after the rash of injuries the team has suffered the last few years.

    They need some new blood in the building in that department.

  18. brianjoates says: Feb 21, 2014 11:09 PM

    He kept it in house in fear of his job.
    Ireland’s firing was just, philbin should be gone as well. Philbin failed his players, the players families, Steve Ross and everyone beneath him organization wide.

  19. htowntexan says: Feb 21, 2014 11:26 PM

    The reason he was fired is because he would not cooperate with the commander. The commander doesn’t tolerate insolence.

  20. jojobop says: Feb 21, 2014 11:33 PM

    He’s the scapegoat for the idiots that still run that circus down in clownville…I mean, Miami. No, I was right the first time, Clownville, FL.

  21. riverhorsey says: Feb 22, 2014 12:23 AM

    Aren’t you saying let boys be boys when you say “NONE of it…should have ever left the lockerroom”.

    Of course you are. Stop being a hypocrite.

  22. packmanfan says: Feb 22, 2014 1:10 AM

    Seems like a pity award. Remind me: Did the Dolphins even make the playoffs this year? I don’t understand why they would give an award to a trainer who didn’t stick up for members on his staff and who didn’t help a losing team do better.

  23. orivar says: Feb 22, 2014 4:14 AM

    “which says a lot about the maturity of the millionaires we root for on Sunday”

    Having a lot of money doesn’t change people, it makes them worse as they can now do what they do with less restrictions. Point being, men are going to be men. Money won’t and has never changed that.

    Though are correct in that all of this should of been handed internally. The media getting involved and using their agenda has made it so much worse.

  24. natelan69 says: Feb 22, 2014 6:58 AM

    O’Neil was fired for his clearly numerous character flaws. Good riddance to bad trash. Learn from your mistake and reconstruct the morals in life that guide you, because your compas is way off.

  25. thelastpieceofcheese says: Feb 22, 2014 7:14 AM

    If he was such a great trainer, why were the dolphins so bad on the field?

  26. doublezero74 says: Feb 22, 2014 7:21 AM

    Dolphins = dumpster fire. Have been for a long time. The last time they were relevant contenders must have been before cell phones.

  27. howiefeltersnatch says: Feb 22, 2014 7:47 AM

    That’s because this whole Wells report thing is nothing more than a kangaroo court ruling.

  28. mx429 says: Feb 22, 2014 7:53 AM

    Continue the house cleaning and help bring this team out of 40 years of mediocrity. O’Neill deserved to be fired simply for his unprofessional and aggressive refusal to participate in the investigation.

    Yes, Martin was right to expose the filth and abuse that he and others were subjected to, the locker room is a professional workplace protected by law.

    Despite the prevailing attitudes and ignorance of spoiled and entitled athletes it’s high time they learned that they are not going to be given a pass at the highest level of the game.

  29. cuda1234 says: Feb 22, 2014 8:01 AM

    When Richie hurled racial insults at an assistant trainer? Or when one white guy and a bunch of black guys teased an assistant trainer? Because that’s what the report says. Stop with the racist crap already.

  30. wishingtonredslur says: Feb 22, 2014 8:18 AM

    They were all “adults” at least as far as the age of their skin suits is concerned. They are men in their early and late 20’s. This is the point their mothers and father and older relatives say “He’s only 20-30 years old, still a kid.” You’re not still kids though you are stupid like them. Consider that in the 1950’s the word “teenager” didn’t exist and you were a child or a grow up. Then we added the teenage years and now you’re trying to stretch childlike stupidity into your 30’s. Grow up you fat entitled cuddle humped morons.

  31. truths4all says: Feb 22, 2014 8:26 AM

    If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

    One abominable anomaly (Martin whose accusations are proven false by his OWN texts) should not be used as the norm. But whenever attorneys are involved, it ends up being insane where the tail wags the dog.

    The actions where the Dolphins fire O’Neill and allow Philbin to stay demonstrates the total disfunctional state of the Dolphins, their ownership, and its management.

    It is no wonder why the Dolphins are going to be a loser franchise for many years to come.

  32. johnsteph1 says: Feb 22, 2014 9:12 AM

    Kevin O’Neill was with the Cowboys for years. He was/is a great trainer. Jimmy Johnson calls him the best he’s ever worked with . And he was fired for what?? Isolated incident of him laughing along with others at the “insults” hurled at one of his assistants.?!

    Somethings should never leave the locker room. It appears that the Dolphins succumbed to the pressure to allow some to take the sword so that others can be retained.

  33. reesesteel23 says: Feb 22, 2014 9:23 AM

    Are we going to start pointing fingers at Incognito, or are you guys going to keep acting as if he’s a victim in a “race driven” agenda….

    Call Martin what you want, at the end of the day, he did nothing wrong and grew tired of Incognitos antics, just like EVERY team he has been on including college

  34. pksoze says: Feb 22, 2014 9:37 AM

    Kevin O’Neill is such a great guy that he didn’t back his assistant trainer when Incognito and his crew racially taunted him and said they would beat him up. In fact he even laughed. I feel no sympathy for the man.

  35. uglydingo says: Feb 22, 2014 10:12 AM

    99% of the time Stephan Ross is a hands off owner. Someone leaned on him to immediately fire O’Neill. My bet is that it was Commissioner Goodell.
    O’Neill needed to have an attorney with him when interviewed by Ted Wells. It is very sad when an 18 year career is abruptly ended on a witch hunt with comments like O’Neill smiled at one of the alleged comments.
    He is a respected professional in his field. If he had been more respectful to Wells, he would probably still be employed.
    Did Goodell lean on Ross?

  36. FinFan68 says: Feb 22, 2014 10:45 AM

    I don’t quite understand all the angst with his firing. Sure, he was a good trainer and was with the team for 18 years but he screwed up royally here. He admits hearing the insults aimed at his subordinate. He failed to put a stop to it and he failed to let the head coach know when the behavior continued. He even condoned the behavior with his laughter. He also saw some of the stuff with Martin and again failed to notify anyone. The HIPPA excuse is bogus for two reasons. The rules apply to diagnosed conditions and medical treatment, not witnessed behavior. Second, the trainer represents the employer/is part of the organization. He can’t tell others (equipment manager, groundskeeper etc) but that doesn’t (or at least shouldn’t) include his direct chain of supervision. His firing has little to do with the Martin fiasco.

  37. wishingtonredslur says: Feb 22, 2014 11:42 AM

    If you think that is how a professional behaves at anything than you don’t know what the word professional means.

  38. bsizemore68 says: Feb 22, 2014 2:52 PM

    He might sue the Dolphins or the league, however I doubt he will win. I want to hear what his assisted has to say, looks like he dealt with the guys who tease him. The former head trainer will get a job soon, perhaps he will be glad to get out of Miami, the Pats or Jets may want to talk with him, to find out all the secrets about Miami players. Bill

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