Fired Dolphins Trainer Kevin O'Neill Receives NFL Trainer of the Year Award
It was an odd week for former Miami Dolphins athletic trainer Kevin O'Neill. After getting pink-slipped by owner Stephen Ross for his involvement in the Incognito scandal he was awarded one of his professions highest accolades. On Friday, he was given the Fain-Cain Memorial Award for Outstanding Athletic Trainer of the Year by the NFL Physician's Society at the NFL Combine.
O'Neill may be a great trainer, but the Ted Wells report didn't make him look like such a good boss.
Richie Incogntio, Mike Pouncey, and Jerry Jones were not only found to be guilty of the systematic bullying of Jonathan Martin, but also targeted an assistant trainer under O'Neill. The assistant trainer, who is still unidentified, was Asian, and Incognito and his crew taunted the man with racial slurs like "chink."
According to the report, O'Neill did nothing to stop the behavior and even at some points laughed at the racial slurs. Wells also found O'Neill hostile to the idea of the investigation, and cut an interview short.
The Dolphins released O'Neill along with assistant coach Jim Turner last week.
Then a few days later he won the award. O'Neill, a veteran trainer with the NFL since 1991, did not show up to receive the award. Troy Maurer, a former co-worker, accepted it on his behalf and read a short statement.
"After receiving the report, I conducted my own internal review of the facts to determine the appropriate steps for our organization," Ross said in a statement announcing the firing. "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."