Wells report confirms Ireland’s suggestion of “fisticuffs”


Not long after it became clear that Dolphins tackle Jonathan Martin believed guard Richie Incognito was the primary culprit regarding the harassment of Martin, we reported that former G.M. Jeff Ireland suggested to agent Kenny Zuckerman that Martin should have physically confronted Incognito.

The report generated by Ted Wells addresses this wrinkle, based apparently on our report.

Both Ireland and Zuckerman were asked about the situation, but the report says the accounts of the two men “differ sharply.”  Ireland said that he “casually remarked that if a schoolyard bully constantly takes one’s milk money, perhaps ‘fisticuffs’ would be in order.”  Ireland explained that he wasn’t advocating actual violence, and that the comment was “taken out of context and distorted by the media.”  (Yes, it’s always the media’s fault.)

But Zuckerman interpreted Ireland as being “quite serious” by suggesting that if “Martin simply [had] attempted to punch out Incognito or otherwise engaged him in physical violence, Incognito would have understood Martin’s objection and would have stopped the behavior.”  Zuckerman, per the report, “strongly disagreed” with the idea that Ireland was merely offered a hypothetical.

The report likely throws Ireland a bone by not making a “credibility finding” because the question isn’t “central to” the investigation.  The court of public opinion can make its own conclusions regarding whether Ireland would use the term “fisticuffs” as a metaphor for something other than, you know, fisticuffs.

32 responses to “Wells report confirms Ireland’s suggestion of “fisticuffs”

  1. In the context of an NFL locker room it’s not an outlandish suggestion. These guys are physical for a living; makes sense that physically solving problems might be the most effective way in certain situations.

  2. Actually fisticuffs was the only way this could be handled that wouldn’t have ended in disaster. Now the left is even denying the universal truth that sometimes violence is the only good option.

  3. What was the exact quote and the surrounding context and tone? Interpretations can and do vary on the exact same sentence. Lawyers have opposite opinions on the written law all the time. What someone thinks is meant is not necessarily so.

  4. The whole front office from the owner to the head coach to the line coach should all receive at least the same suspension Incognito got. Failure to know what is happening in your locker room on your watch and then suggesting violence is the answer to anything should tell you the type of people Ross hires and allows to occupy his offices. They are all guilty and should all be sitting for half a year watching games on TV.

  5. Ireland got into how many fights growing up? Had to confront who?

    He was a kid who played in the big candy store and daddy protected him.

    Friggen tool. He is the “cat” in this story…

  6. I think that Ireland was implying that Martin should have, at the very least, stood up for himself…maybe he should’ve punched Incognito in the face…

  7. Is everyone forgetting that these men are paid millions of dollars to physically push around other men.. yet Martin couldn’t or wouldn’t against middle of the road type guys like Incognito and Pouncey.. what the heck would Martin do against a man named SUH?

  8. “Perhaps fisticuffs would be in order.” How the bleep can this statement be “taken out of context?”

  9. I don’t exactly see the problem with Ireland saying that. If a bully is pushing you around, punching him in the face is one way to let him know it’s not acceptable. This is a solution that works anywhere from the playground to the locker room, and sometimes it’s the only solution when it comes to meatheads like Incognito

  10. Ireland was right. Everything about this report sounds fine to me. Martin is a baby. It’s a locker room. What do you expect?

  11. rushbacker says: Feb 14, 2014 7:10 PM

    Maybe somebody should punch Ireland in the face. I’m sure plenty of Fins fans would volunteer.

    I’m sure Dez would be first in line! Can’t for the life of me comprehend how Parcells ever gave this ass-clown a job.

  12. I don’t know what planet Ireland’s from, but do you think that Martin would have punched Incognito, it would’ve stopped? That trick works in the movies, but you think Incognito wouldn’t retaliate??

  13. What we have here is a tremendous failure of a leader in Ireland as a GM ie. general manager. How can you be manager and not have a clue what’s going on with your most prized staff.

    But it’s also a tremendous failure of a big, strong, wealthy and educated man in Martin to act like a man and stand up from himself.

    Incognito and his pals are largely irrelevant to me. They are just run of the mill O linemen. Yeah they bullied. Yeah they took it to far. Yeah (in the case of Incognito at least) they are probably pretty foul character people. But it’s a harsh world out there in an NFL locker room and in he OL and if you are Martin you either join in, quit or hang in there and change things. You don’t go down and drag everyone down with you.

  14. Sadly, the media often is at fault, creating controversy and stories where none exist; happens way too often. Just look at the personalities at ESPN, they are satisfied with reporting the story, many of them like Berman think they are the story.

  15. Seriously, this is all about a 300 lb NFL player who claims he was “bullied” and quit his team because his boyz called him names via text messages.

    We’re talkin’ ’bout name callin’.

    However, if Philbin had been unaware of a homicidal player involved in obvious gang related activity on the team, then there would be possible reason for concern.

  16. Uh, what if Ireland was right? Because he was. Incognito is a psycho, and Martin is a baby. Had Martin punched The Fat Tornado in the face, that would have solved it. See, we don’t need 140 pages to solve this one.

  17. If Martin thinks his teammates were being hard on him, just imagine what he would feel like when opponents start talking to him and pushing him all around the field and taking potshots at him.

    Football is not a gentle sport. Ask anyone that has played on any level above Pop Warner and you hear and go through stuff that most people would crack under.

    It happens on ALL teams at just about every level. If you think it doesn’t, you are delusional.

  18. “Now the left is even denying the universal truth that sometimes violence is the only good option.”

    Even if we accept your “universal truth” (and Gandhi, MLK, and Jesus– among others– would not), don’t you agree violence should always be the last resort?”

  19. Real life doesn’t happen in a conceptual vacuum… Sometimes ya just gotta stand your ground… Some people don’t understand anything else… Whether that’s face to face or getting some assistance is a judgement call.. Running away is never the answer…

  20. @yetimonster are you serious with that comment?

    IMO anyone who has not gone on some type of ridicule whether it’s off the record and or not sports related is lying. Everyone goes through some type of humiliation albeit some more extreme than others but it happens in every workplace period….indirect or direct

  21. Was that the solution for the assistant trainer to, oh and maybe the girl on the golf course should’ve taken Incognito out.
    What a class act this Jeff “is your mommy still a prostitute” Ireland is.

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