The report regarding the harassment of Jonathan Martin has been issued. It finds that he was bullied. That is not a surprise. I previously wrote about the harassment of the NFL player here. The NFL investigator found that guard John Perry and center Mike Pouncey followed Richie Incognito’s lead in harassing Mr. Martin. Mr. Martin never did return to the Dolphins after he left the team last October. The three linemen threatened to rape Mr. Martin’s sister, called him a long list of names, and bullied him for not being "black enough." Mr. Martin, a Stanford graduate, was more of a quiet person when compared to the outgoing Richie Incognito. Mr. Martin is biracial. Mr. Incognito is white. Mr. Pouncey and Mr. Perry are black.
Mr. Incognito was suspended last November, but the other two linemen started throughout the season. The report mentioned another player and a trainer who came under attack from the three linemen. The report described Mr. Martin’s attempt to deal with the bullying, including emotional text exchanges with his parents and a crying episode in the bathroom after one particualrly difficult bout of harassment.
Mr. Martin was taunted or ridiculed almost daily. After he left the team in October, Mr. Incognito "boasted" about "breaking Jmart" in a notebook used by the linemen. The assistant trainer, born in Japan, was harassed on the basis of his national origin. See Sporting News report.
This may be a more high profile example of harassment, but unfortunately, it is not particularly rare. Bullying takes many forms and occurs in blue collar and white collar work places. These players were up front about using race as a basis for the harassment on occasion. Some co-workers are not that obvious. But, in the end, don’t all instances of bullying start with some perception that the victim is different in some way?
The report states that there is no evidence that the head coach or the General Manger were aware of the harassment. But, I have heard several commentators suggest that the coaches had to know. In most workplaces, doesn’t management always have some awareness of bullying and racial harassment?
P.S.: To his credit, Richie Incognito apologized to Mr. Martin and the Dolphins a few days after this report was issued. See CBS news report.