Miami Dolphins offensive lineman Jonathan Martin was subjected to "a pattern of harassment" that included racial slurs and vicious sexual taunts about his mother and sister by three teammates, according to a report released Friday by NFL investigator Ted Wells.
The 144-page report said Richie Incognito, who was suspended by the team in November, and fellow offensive linemen John Jerry and Mike Pouncey harassed Martin. Another offensive lineman and an assistant trainer also routinely came under attack, the investigation found. Neither was named in the report.
Martin's agent, Kenneth Zuckerman, said his client feels "vindicated" by the report and plans to resume his football career.
"He feels a great sense of relief," Zuckerman said. "Jonathan Martin is a great man, and he's only shown me that he is very honest since the day I met him. He loves football and is eager to get back on the field, regardless of what team he plays for."
Incognito's attorney, Mark Schamel, released a statement saying Wells' report was "replete with errors" and said Martin "was never bullied by Richie Incognito or any member of the Dolphins' offensive line."
Wells said his inquiry found Martin was taunted and ridiculed almost daily. After Martin left the team in October, Incognito boasted about "breaking Jmart" in a notebook the linemen used to tally fines and bonuses among themselves. When the investigation began, Incognito asked another player to destroy the book, but investigators obtained it.
Incognito took to Twitter on Friday afternoon.
Pleeeeease Stop The Hate. Happy Valentines Day :)The other harassed player was "subjected to homophobic name-calling and improper physical touching," while the assistant trainer, who was born in Japan, was subjected to racial slurs.
- Richie Incognito (@68INCOGNITO) February 14, 2014
"It was not difficult to conclude that the assistant trainer and Player A were harassed, but the questions raised in Martin's case were more complex, nuanced and difficult," the report said.
In the case of Player A, the report said, Dolphins offensive line coach Jim Turner "was aware of the running 'joke' that Player A was gay, and on at least one occasion, he participated in the taunting."
"Around Christmas 2012, Coach Turner gave the offensive linemen gift bags that included a variety of stocking stuffers. The gifts included inflatable female dolls for all of the offensive linemen except Player A, who received a male 'blow-up' doll," the report said.
"According to Incognito, Player A was a 'good kid' who 'took it well' and never told his teammates to stop. In Incognito's eyes, jokes about Player A's sexuality were all harmless fun."
The report continued, "With the recent announcement by Michael Sam, a defensive lineman from the University of Missouri who is expected to be selected in the 2014 NFL draft, that he is gay, it is even more urgent that a tolerant atmosphere exist throughout the league. The frequent use of homophobic insults undermines this goal."