Dec. 17, 2012: At a Christmas party at Mike Pouncey’s home, Martin says what began as inoffensive pushing and shoving with Richie Incognito escalated to play boxing. Incognito took off his shirt, tackled Martin onto a sofa, and began punching him in the body and the face, though not hard enough to bruise or draw blood. Martin’s attorney called it a “malicious physical attack,” but investigator Ted Wells says that characterization is “exaggerated.”
Jan. 6, 2013: Martin was extremely upset by a series of text messages from Incognito, in which Incognito calls him a slut, makes a sexually offensive remark about Martin’s sister and says he plans to defecate in Martin’s mouth.
“He said that he read them to mean that if he remained on the Dolphins, he would suffer continued harassment and that this was not merely a rookie phenomenon,” Wells wrote. Martin admits contemplating suicide.
Jan. 27, 2013: Martin sends his mother a text message, confiding: “I have really severe depression. There are many instances where I can’t get out of bed.”
April 6, 2013: In an April 6 voicemail that was later obtained by multiple media outlets, Incognito calls Martin a “half [N-word] piece of [expletive].”
April 22, 2013: Martin, in a text message to his mother: “I figured out a major source of my anxiety. I’m a pushover, a people pleaser. I avoid confrontation whenever I can, I always want everyone to like me. ... I just want to be alone. Everywhere I go, I get punked. I have a disagreeable personality. People are always annoyed by me.”
April 26, 2013: Martin joins Incognito, Will Yeatman and Anthony Fasano for dinner and alleges Incognito makes jokes about slavery and uses the N-word in reference to him.
April 29, 2013: Martin texts his father: “People call me a [N-word] to my face. Happened two days ago. And I laughed it off. Because I am too nice of a person. They say terrible things about my sister. I don’t do anything. I suppose it’s white private school conditioning, turning the other cheek.”
May 4, 2013: Martin joins Incognito, John Jerry, Pouncey and others for a trip on a rented yacht in Fort Lauderdale. Martin claims Pouncey and Incognito verbally humiliate him throughout the day and Incognito put him in a headlock.
May 5, 2013: Martin tells his mother: “I got punked again. And I never do anything about it. I was sobbing in a rented yacht bathroom earlier.” Martin said he seriously considers suicide for the second time.
May 6, 7, 2013: Martin skips voluntary offseason workouts, meets with offensive line coach Jim Turner and coach Joe Philbin and tells them he’s upset and thinking about whether to leave the sport. But he doesn’t mention anything about being harassed. He soon begins taking Lexapro, which treats depression and anxiety.
June 9, 2013: Martin writes to his mother: “I just feel trapped. I’m losing my will to compete, which is the scariest thing an athlete can ever say.”
Oct. 28, 2013: A day after not playing well in his first game since moving from left tackle to right tackle, Martin arrives in the cafeteria for dinner at 6 p.m. While he is waiting in line for food, Incognito calls out to him from the table, saying he did not want Martin to join the group, and that he should move his “stinky Pakistani [butt]’’ and sit by himself. Moments later, at Incognito’s urging, all of the linemen sitting at the table get up and walk away when Martin arrives.
Martin slams his tray on the floor and leaves the Dolphins facility. He buys a large bottle of vodka, sees a movie, buys a sandwich, then checks himself into a hospital “so his parents would know he was in a safe place and also because he believed that he might need medical attention because he suspected that he was acting irrationally.” Philbin visits him at the hospital, but Martin does not tell him about the bullying.
Oct. 29, 2013: Martin exchanges text messages with general manager Jeff Ireland, who wrote: “Jonathan. Glad [you’re] safe. You have a family of brothers that care very much for you. They meant [no] harm in [their] prank. We are all here for you.”
Oct. 31, 2013: On a day the Dolphins defeat Cincinnati, Martin is released from Aventura Hospital and returns to California.
Nov. 1, 2013: Martin and Incognito exchange text messages. Martin says: “I’m good, man. It’s insane, bro, but just know I don’t blame you guys at all. It’s just the culture around football, and the locker room got to me a little.”
Incognito and Pouncey then exchange text messages, accusing Martin of snitching. “[Bleep] JMart,” Incognito said. “That [gay slur] is never allowed back.” Pouncey: “He’s dead to me.”
Nov. 2, 2013: Turner, via text messages, urges Martin to defend Incognito in a public statement. Over several days, offensive line coach Jim Turner pressures Martin to “DO THE RIGHT THING.”… Philbin questions Incognito, who said Martin was his friend and denied the allegations that he harassed Martin.
Nov. 3, 2013: After learning about the April 6 voicemail, Philbin again meets with Incognito, who admits he left the message and made other vulgar and racially charged statements. Dolphins suspend Incognito for “conduct detrimental to the team.” … Incognito urges Pouncey and Nate Garner to “please destroy the fine book first thing in the morning.’’ That fine book, which was not destroyed, provides evidence that Incognito wanted to tease or taunt Martin to the point of getting an emotional reaction.
Nov. 6, 2013: Philbin allows players to comment about the matter to reporters, and many of them strongly defend Incognito.
Nov. 11, 2013: Owner Stephen Ross announces the creation of an advisory group to review the team’s organizational-conduct policies.
Nov. 30, 2013: Dolphins place Martin on the Non-Football Injury list, with full pay.
Dec. 15, 2013: Dolphins announce Incognito will remain suspended for the rest of the season, with pay. The team has refused to pay him what he says he is owed under his contract (approximately $500,000) in connection with the first two weeks of his suspension.
Feb. 14, 2014: Wells released his report, which “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 insults and other offensive comments.
“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 months before he left the Dolphins — which have never before been made public — corroborate his account that the persistent harassment by his teammates caused him significant emotional distress. The report concludes that the harassment by Martin’s teammates was a contributing factor in his decision to leave the team, but also finds that Martin’s teammates did not intend to drive Martin from the team or cause him lasting emotional injury.”