An NFL report released on Friday about the Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin bullying scandal also revealed that Incognito, Mike Pouncey, and John Jerry repeatedly slurred and harassed the Dolphin’s assistant trainer who was born in Japan.
Incognito, who has a history of drug abuse, spitting on players, punching out a security guard, and altercations with fans and officials, and Mike Pouncey, who has been questioned about the alleged murders and other illicit acts Aaron Hernandez may have committed, admitted to investigators that they had repeatedly taunted the Japanese trainer with vulgar and racial slurs. Text messages between Martin and Incognito revealed that there may have been illicit drug use at Mike Pouncey’s house, which is another incident the NFL may look into in the offseason.
Pouncey and Incognito have been involved in various controversies in recent years.
Andrew Abramson and Hal Habib of The Palm Beach Post said Pouncey missed practice on Wednesday and was in Boston being questioned about the alleged illegal acts committed by Hernandez, who has been charged with the murder of associate Odin Llloyd in Massachusetts.
Incognito eventually settled with a woman for $30,000 after he allegedly rubbed a golf club against her privates before emptying a water bottle in her face:
According to the report filed in Aventura, Fla., Incognito harassed a 34-year-old female volunteer at the team’s annual “Fins Weekend Golf Tournament.” The tournament was held on May 18, 2012, at the Turnberry Resort and Club in Aventura.
The woman was working as a hole monitor at the event and, according to the police report, while she was performing her duties, Incognito approached her and rubbed his golf club against her private area. According to the accuser, Incognito had been drinking and was acting inappropriately.
Eventually, Incognito rubbed against her butt with his privates and began saying, “Let it rain. Let it rain.” After that, Incognito emptied a bottled water on her face.
Steelers C Maurkice Pouncey was allegedly with Aaron Hernandez at a night club in 2007 when two men were shot. Hernandez is being investigated for the shootings. The third man in the car, Randall Cason, was unharmed, but identified a “black or Hawaiian male” as the shooter. Police believe it might have been Hernandez.
The twins did themselves no favors when they were photographed with “Free Hernandez” hats after Hernandez was arrested for his alleged first-degree murder of Odin Lloyd.
The trainer, who is not even a player on the team and is an employee of the organization, texted Martin and said that there were days when he wished he could have walked out like Martin did.
We found that the Assistant Trainer, who was born in Japan, was the target of frequent and persistent harassment, including insults relating to his race and national origin. Incognito, Jerry and Pouncey admitted that they directed racially derogatory words toward him, including “Jap” and “Chinaman.” At times, according to Martin, they referred to the Assistant Trainer as a “dirty communist” or a “North Korean,” made demands such as “give me some water you fucking chink,” spoke to him in a phony, mocking Asian accent, including asking for “rubby rubby sucky sucky,” and called his mother a “rub and tug masseuse.” Martin and others informed us that Incognito and Jerry taunted the Assistant Trainer with jokes about having sex with his girlfriend. Incognito admitted that these types of comments were made to the Assistant Trainer.
On December 7, 2012, the anniversary of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Incognito, Jerry and Pouncey donned traditional Japanese headbands that featured a rising sun emblem (which the Assistant Trainer had given them) and jokingly threatened to harm the Assistant Trainer physically in retaliation for the Pearl Harbor attack. According to Martin, the Assistant Trainer confided in him that he was upset about the Pearl Harbor comments, finding them derogatory toward his heritage.
Martin and another player we interviewed both believed that the Assistant Trainer awkwardly laughed along with some of the racial insults, even though he was in fact offended. And both players seemed offended by the flagrant racial harassment of the Assistant Trainer. In a text message sent on November 4, 2013, Martin told a friend: “I always felt so bad for [the Assistant Trainer] . . . it was really racist.” Martin claims that a number of Dolphins employees saw how the Assistant Trainer was humiliated but did not intervene, including his supervisor, head trainer Kevin O’Neill, who allegedly even laughed at some of the racial insults. As far as we know, none of the players, including Martin, confronted Incognito, Jerry or Pouncey about the racist comments directed at the Assistant Trainer or demanded that they cease.
When interviewed about these matters, the Assistant Trainer initially pleaded that he not be required to answer certain questions, implying that he could not be forthright because he was concerned about losing the trust of the players. The Assistant Trainer further claimed that Incognito was his friend and asserted that Incognito had never offended him. He told us that he could not recall if Incognito had called him a “Chinaman” or a “Jap,” and refused to answer the question whether Incognito had said anything about his girlfriend, saying that the inquiry made him “very uncomfortable.”
We did not find the Assistant Trainer’s denials believable. Notably, hours after Martin left the team on October 28, the Assistant Trainer sent him a text message indicating that he had indeed been personally offended by the insults directed at him by Incognito, Jerry and Pouncey: “Hey JM I understand how [y]ou feel man… They are relentless sometime…. Some day I wanna do exactly what you did today.” (emphasis added and ellipses in original). The ceaseless racial ridicule directed at the Assistant Trainer was appalling and plainly over the line in any workplace.
We also find the treatment of the Assistant Trainer particularly troubling because he was not a fellow football player, but a subordinate, a member of the training staff. In our view, it is likely that the Assistant Trainer felt that he had no standing or ability to fight back, and feared the loss of his job if he protested and the players did not take kindly to his complaints. Again, as with Player A, we view the treatment of the Assistant Trainer as part of a pattern of abusive, unprofessional behavior.