NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell appointed New York attorney Ted Wells to conduct an independent investigation into the Miami Dolphins in the wake of harassment allegations against suspended blocker Richie Incognito.
Incognito, an offensive guard, allegedly used racist language and repeated threats to bully fellow blocker Jonathan Martin, his neighbor on the offensive line. Martin left the team in the wake of a lunch room incident last week. Incognito was suspended indefinitely last Sunday.
“Under league policy, all employees have the right to a workplace free of any form of harassment,” Goodell said. “We are fully committed to an appropriate working environment for all NFL personnel.”
Wells will prepare a report on the Dolphins workplace for Goodell that will be made public when submitted, though he has no specific timetable to complete the probe, Goodell said.
“He will ensure that we have all the facts so that we can address this matter constructively,” Goodell said. “Ted Wells will have full authority to investigate as he deems appropriate. He is on the job as of today and will undertake to complete his work as promptly as possible.”
Wells has recently looked into allegations of sexual misconduct by a Syracuse University assistant basketball coach and wrongdoing by NBA players’ union officials.
“I am pleased to accept this appointment,” Wells said. “My task is to assemble the facts and present my findings to the commissioner. I will do so fairly and comprehensively so that commissioner Goodell can address this matter properly. I will begin my work immediately and report my findings to the commissioner as soon as practical.”
Dolphins coach Joe Philbin vowed full cooperation from the organization.
“If the review reveals anything that needs to be corrected we will take all necessary measures to fix it to make sure this doesn’t happen again,” Philbin said.
A notion that Incognito might have been critical of Martin to toughen him at the request of coaches or other team leaders was disputed by Philbin and Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill, the man Martin and Incognito are charged with protecting from opposing pass rushers on the football field.
“I didn’t call anybody soft,” Philbin said. “Coaches are responsible to help players reach their potential. They do that in a number of ways.”
Tannehill said the players are coming to grips with the criticism they hear about a locker room out of control with racist remarks and threats, saying it does not resemble the work environment he sees daily.
“To be put in the situation where everybody says we have no leadership and the locker room is a bad place, it’s really tough for us to sit here and hear all that when we’ve got each other’s backs,” he said.
“A lot of it is catching us off guard,” the quarterback continued.
“This stuff being thrown out, we didn’t know it was going on in front of us. Both guys have their rights and wrongs. If both guys chose to come back, I’m big on forgiveness. I’m big on moving on. I don’t judge a guy for any situation he’s in.”
[Image via Agence France-Presse]
Eric Garner’s daughter says firing Daniel Pantaleo ‘should have happened a long time ago’
Daniel Pantaleo, the police officer who killed Eric Garner in 2014 by using an illegal chokehold, was fired Monday and stripped of his pension benefits. The decision came more than five years after Pantaleo held Garner, an unarmed African-American man, in a chokehold until he dropped to the ground. Before dying, he gasped “I can’t breathe” 11 times. Despite outcry from the family and community members, Pantaleo had remained on the police force on desk duty since the killing. Last month, on the fifth anniversary of Garner’s death, the Justice Department declined to charge Pantaleo with a crime despite calls by the Garner family and their supporters that the city punish him and other officers involved. Over the years, Garner’s case has helped drive the Black Lives Matter movement for police accountability. His family is continuing their fight for justice, calling on the New York City Police Department to fire the other officers involved in Garner’s death, and vowing to block any appeals made by Pantaleo’s attorney. We speak with Eric Garner’s youngest daughter, Emerald Garner.
Italy PM says to resign as crisis comes to a head
Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said Tuesday he would resign, lashing out at far-right Interior Minister Matteo Salvini for pursuing his own interests by pulling the plug on the government coalition.
"I'm ending this government experience here... I will go to the president of the republic (Sergio Mattarella) to inform him of my resignation", after a Senate debate, Conte said after an almost hour-long speech to the chamber.
"It is irresponsible to initiate a government crisis," Conte said after Salvini began his efforts to bring down the government in the hope of snap elections he hoped would make him premier.
Bret Baier pushes back at Trump’s criticisms of Fox News: ‘We have a news side and an opinion side’
Fox News host Bret Baier called out President Donald Trump for claiming that Fox News had "changed" after the conservative cable network released a poll showing him trailing behind four of the Democratic presidential frontrunners in the 2020 race.
"OK. Well, Fox has not changed," Baier said in response to Trump during a segment from Monday's edition of "Special Report." "We have a news side and an opinion side. The opinion folks express their opinions. We do polls. Our latest poll had the Democratic candidates head-to-head, several of them ahead of President Trump. And this poll tracks exactly what the Real Clear Politics average of polls — even a little the other way — and this poll matches what we are seeing out there."