The NFL's independent investigation into the Miami Dolphins' offensive line's locker room antics concludes that Richie Incognito and two other veterans, Mike Pouncey and John Jerry, repeatedly bullied fellow lineman Jonathan Martin.
The group also bullied another young offensive lineman and an assistant trainer with the same abuses that led Martin to leave the team altogether in the middle of the 2013 season. Ted Wells, the attorney appointed to lead the investigation, says the veterans' conduct was workplace harassment, and not friendly but aggressive locker room culture in the 144 page report. ESPN reporter Adam Schefter wrote up the summary conclusions on his Facebook page:
"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. The Report finds that the assistant trainer repeatedly was the object if 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 rejects any suggestion that Martin manufactured claims of abuse.
Incognito, Pouncey and Jerry also admitted bullying an Asian-American assistant coach by repeatedly calling him "Jap," and "Chinaman," asking for "rubby rubby sucky sucky," and wearing Japanese headbands on December 7, the anniversary of Pearl Harbor.
Last year, Martin abruptly left the Dolphins mid-season. His reason for leaving the team was initially a mystery, but eventually teammate Richie Incognito was accused of bullying Martin to the point he wanted to quit football. The report essentially nails Incognito to the wall for his behavior, including the previously alleged sexual and racist remarks towards Martin.
But Incognito's fate is still uncertain. Out of nowhere, Incognito unleashed a rant on Twitter the other day about his relationship with Martin. Incognito defended himself, and said Martin confessed to him in May 2013 that he was suicidal. This kind of outburst probably isn't helping Incognito publicly rehabilitate himself. The report does not suggest an appropriate punishment for the three men (the fates of Pouncey and Jerry are also unclear) it only establishes what happened. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell will now review the report and decide how to proceed.