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2 posts from February 14, 2014

February 14, 2014

Ross: Wells report language, behavior "disturbing"

Dolphins owner Stephen Ross is distrubed by the language and the behaviour outlined in the Ted Wells report released today.

Here is a statement from Ross on the matter: 

Before you read it, understand Ross does not address the matters most on people's minds, which are whether OL coach Jim Turner will be fired, whether athletics trainer Kevin O'Neill will be fired, whether John Jerry will be re-signed based on the report's findings, whether center Mike Pouncey will be punished, and what is Jonathan Martin's status with the team going forward.

The statement:

“Today, I received the final report from NFL independent counsel Ted Wells and have now reviewed it.  I want to first thank Commissioner Roger Goodell for granting our request to have an independent review on this matter. I also want to thank Ted Wells and his team, who conducted a thorough, professional and objective review.

“I now have had a chance to read the report and obviously, the language that was used and the behavior as described is deeply disturbing. Although the report commended Joe Philbin’s commitment to promoting integrity and accountability throughout the Dolphins organization, I told Ted Wells personally during my visit with him that we are committed to addressing the issues outlined in this report. We must work together towards a culture of civility and mutual respect for one another. It is important to me, important to Coach Philbin and important to the entire Dolphins organization.

“We are committed to a positive workplace environment where everyone treats each other with respect. We have reviewed our Code of Conduct and workplace policies and are making enhancements to the areas of sports psychology, human resources and player engagement functions which serve as safe outlets for any player or employee.

“When these allegations first came to light, I wanted to know what happened so we could make our organization better. I also began a deliberative and comprehensive process of determining what I could do to elevate conduct in sports, regardless of the then-unknown conclusions of Ted Wells’ report.

“Three months ago, I announced the creation of a committee comprised of Coach Philbin, our CEO Tom Garfinkel, and respected former players and coaches, who would review Ted Wells’ report and our current Code of Conduct and make any further recommendations. Now that the report has been made available to us, the committee can move forward and begin discussions. 

“After the situation came to light, I approached the New York University School of Law and the New York University Center for Sports and Society led by Arthur Miller, as well as the Jackie Robinson Foundation on ideas to address my concerns about conduct in sports. I wanted to tackle these challenging issues head on and be a driving force for change not only with the Dolphins, but in all levels of athletics. In working with their research team and lawyers, and with the cooperation of New York University Dean of Law and former White House associate counsel Trevor Morrison in particular, we have researched, debated and consulted dozens of experts and have created a series of initiatives that we will release next week, along with a policy paper examining this issue.

“We seek to create a curriculum which emphasizes accountability and which educates athletes on a standard code of conduct, appropriate use of language, and the elimination of disrespectful and unacceptable behavior in sports, including discrimination or harassment because of race, gender or sexual orientation.  We are also exploring possible legislation and a conduct pledge that would be instituted in all organized sports throughout the country to elevate the core value of respect. 

“I have made it clear to everyone within our organization that this situation must never happen again. We are committed to address this issue forcefully and to take a leadership role in establishing a standard that will be a benchmark in all of sports.”

The Ted Wells NFL report is out here

Here it is. The long awaited NFL report by investigator Ted Wells on the Richie Incognitor and Jonathan Martin scandal.

The full report is right here.

This is the media release on the topic:

chair of the Litigation Department at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind,  has released his independent Report to the National Football League concerning allegations of workplace misconduct at the Miami Dolphins. The Report is publicly available at

Mr. Wells was retained by Commissioner Roger Goodell on November 6, 2013. The Report is the result of an independent investigation led by Mr. Wells into allegations that the abrupt departure of Dolphins starting offensive lineman Jonathan Martin on October 28, 2013, midway through the season, was the result of persistent bullying and harassment by some of his teammates. 

Paul, Weiss has conducted a comprehensive investigation, aided by full cooperation from the NFL, the National Football League Players Association and the Miami Dolphins. Paul, Weiss reviewed thousands of voluntarily produced documents, including text messages, emails and team policies, and completed more than 100 s owner and chairman. 

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 of 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  

The Report rejects any suggestion that Martin manufactured claims of abuse after the fact to cover up an  impetuous decision to leave the team. Contemporaneous text messages that Martin sent to his parents and others corroborate his account that the persistent harassment by his teammates caused him significant emotional distress. The Report concludes that the s teammates was a contributing factor in his decision to leave the team, but also finds that said Mr. Wells. 

“Consistent with my prior practices involving similar investigative reports, it is not my present intention to hold a press conference or comment further about the Report. The Report is thorough and comprehensive, and speaks for itself,” said Mr. Wells.