National Football League
Dolphins fire offensive line coach Jim Turner, head trainer Kevin O'Neill
National Football League

Dolphins fire offensive line coach Jim Turner, head trainer Kevin O'Neill

Published Feb. 19, 2014 7:52 p.m. ET

The Miami Dolphins fired offensive line coach Jim Turner and head trainer Kevin O'Neill on Wednesday, five days after both were implicated in the independent investigator's report on the harassment of Jonathan Martin and others.

In his report released Friday, investigator Ted Wells and staff said Turner took part in the harassment of Martin and another player, and also lied to the investigators.  

"The language and behavior as described in the Ted Wells report are against the core values of our organization," Dolphins owner Stephen Ross said in a statement. "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."


The report said Turner overheard Dolphins guard Richie Incognito and others make homophobic insults toward "Player A," later named as Andrew McDonald. Turner denied this claim.

Wells not only did not find Turner credible, the coach participated in the taunting on at least on one occasion. As a Christmas gift, Turner gave female blow-up dolls to all of the offensive linemen except for "Player A," to whom he gave a male blow-up doll.  

O'Neill failed to act and even laughed after being a firsthand witness to harassment of Martin and an assistant trainer, who was born in Japan.

The report also said O'Neill was uncooperative with the investigation.

"O'Neill, the head trainer, not only overheard the racist insults, but also sometimes laughed along and never intervened," the report said. "We did not cover this specific topic in our interview with O'Neill, which was cut short because O'Neill expressed hostility toward our investigation."

The report said Martin maintained O'Neill heard players make sexual references about the tackle's sister.

"As the head coach of the Miami Dolphins, it is my responsibility to create an atmosphere that allows each player the opportunity to reach his full potential," Joe Phibin said in a statement. "As Stephen Ross said, and I agree, the language and behavior outlined in Ted Wells' report was disappointing and unacceptable.

"Since I first arrived in Miami, it has been my goal to have a team which honors our proud tradition and represents our fan base the right way both on and off the field. It is not possible for a team to accomplish its goals when the fundamental values of respect are violated. 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."

Turner, who served in the U.S. Marine Corps, was named Miami offensive line coach in February 2012 after spending the previous four seasons in the same position at Texas A&M under Mike Sherman, who last month was dismissed as Dolphins offensive coordinator.

O'Neill spent 18 years with the Dolphins. He was hired by former coach Jimmy Johnson. Turner had served as the offensive line coach the past two seasons.

In June, O'Neill was named the recipient of the 2013 Tim Kerin Award for Excellence in Athletic Training. O'Neill was the first member of the Dolphins staff and only the fifth NFL athletic trainer to win the prestigious award, which was started in 1994.

"As owner, I know firsthand of the high-character and dedicated professionals in our building," Ross said. "I believe in our team and know the hard work and sacrifices they make every day on the field and in the community. However, this is an opportunity and a teaching moment not only for the coaches, staff and players in our locker room, but also for participants throughout sports. I am in contact with Jonathan Martin and we plan to meet soon."


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