NFL Report Finds ‘Pattern of Harassment’ at Miami Dolphins

Describes an “odd” relationship between Jonathan Martin and Richie Incognito

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Aaron M. Sprecher / AP

Miami Dolphins left guard Richie Incognito looks on during a game, October 6, 2013 in Miami Gardens. Incognito was accused of bullying teammate Jonathan Martin with threats and racial epithets.

A newly released investigation into treatment of Miami Dolphins players has found a “pattern of harassment” directed at younger members of the team, including departed left tackle Jonathan Martin.

The report found that Richie Incognito and two other offensive linemen, John Jerry and Mike Pouncey, targeted Martin, another young player identified only as Player A, and a member of the training staff for repeated bullying. “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 says.

The report follows a controversy that embroiled the Dolphins last October when Martin walked out of a Dolphins’ practice facility and checked himself into a hospital seeking psychological treatment. News reports suggested he’d been subjected to persistent abuse from other players, namely Incognito, sparking an investigation into the matter. Martin soon left the team and Incognito was suspended.

Incognito has publicly denied he bullied Martin and the report describes the “odd but seemingly close friendship” the two men formed early on. “Incognito contends that the conduct about which Martin complains was part of locker room banter meant in good fun and that Martin was a willing and active participant in verbal sparring, never letting on that he was hurt by it,” says the report, something Martin admits he sometimes did “in an attempt to fit in.”