Dolphins fire assistant coach, trainer following bullying report
February 21, 2014, 12:06 am TWN
MIAMI -- The Miami Dolphins fired an assistant coach and a physical trainer on Wednesday in response to a scathing report on bullying in the team's locker room.
Jim Turner, the coach in charge of offensive linemen, and head athletic trainer Kevin O'Neill were both relieved of their duties, the NFL team said in a statement.
The move comes after a 144-page report by independent investigator Ted Wells found that offensive linemen Richie Incognito, John Jerry and Mike Pouncey directed intimidating behavior at teammate Jonathan Martin and others.
Martin left the team late last October and later claimed Incognito bullied him with threats of violence and voice mails that included racial slurs.
“The language and behavior as described in the Ted Wells report are against the core values of our organization,” Dolphins owner Stephen Ross said. “After receiving the report, I conducted my own internal review of the facts to determine the appropriate steps for our organization.
“Jim Turner and Kevin O'Neill are good people who care a great deal about their profession and the players whom they serve, but both exhibited poor judgment at times which led me to this conclusion,” Ross said.
The owner added that he had been in contact with Martin, and was also planning a partnership with the New York University School of Law on a “broader effort to address conduct in sports.”
Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin also said the behavior by some of his players and staff as outlined in the Wells report was “disappointing and unacceptable.”
“It is not possible for a team to accomplish its goals when the fundamental values of respect are violated,” Philbin said. “That ultimately rests on my shoulders and I will be accountable moving forward for making sure that we emphasize a team-first culture of respect towards one another.”