Jonathan Martin Tells Parents Upbringing At ‘Soft Schools’ Hurt Him

Source: Nate Davis / USA Today

In a 144-page independent report released Friday by NFL-appointed investigator Ted Wells, Jonathan Martin is portrayed as a man who couldn’t figure out how to best interact within his own locker room, struggled to reconcile his relationship with football, was driven to drink by his poor play and even twice contemplated suicide in 2013. Martin left the team in October after a cafeteria prank.

According to the report’s findings, Martin, who is African-American, was outraged by racial slurs directed at him by fellow offensive lineman Richie Incognito, who is white. Martin was also offended by extremely sexually suggestive comments made by Incognito and Miami linemen Mike Pouncey and John Jerry aimed at Martin’s sister — she never met any of Martin’s Miami teammates — and mother, who did attend a team function at Fort Lauderdale last April. Martin also was the object of lewd remarks that questioned his manhood and pilloried him for body odor.

Martin, who had an upper-middle-class upbringing in Los Angeles, wrote in a text to his mother last April: “I figured out a major source of my anxiety. I’m a push over (sic), a people pleaser. I avoid confrontation whenever I can, I always want everyone to like me. I let people talk about me, say anything to my face, and I just take it, laugh it off, even when I know they are intentionally trying to disrespect me.

“I mostly blame the soft schools I went to. … I used to get verbally bullied every day in middle school and high school, by kids that are half my size. I would never fight back, just get sad & feel like no one wanted to be my friend, when in fact I was just being socially awkward. Most people in that situation are witty & quick with sarcastic replies, I never have been. I’m awkward around people a lot of the time because I simply don’t know how to act around them.”

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  • KevinFromNYC

    I think every child comes into a situation where they have to confront bullies. In today society we tried to eliminate bullying where in fact it will occur somewhere in life. My son was some what socially inept. I told him right in the beginning if someone bully you, then you have my permission to punch them in the face. I will deal with the school administration afterwards… If Martin was taught that at an early age, then the anxiety of how to deal with bullies would had been dealt with at an early age. Is this is politically correct – No but it is de facto correct

  • Diane Thompson

    Jonathan Martin should never question his innate response to negative confrontation with passive resistance. Indeed, should you have become the “ignorance” that was being hurled at you, this day may have never come. It takes a strong person to walk away from “bad people”. Looking at the man you are today, you could have easily hurt anyone who crossed your path. You do not know, yet, all the great gifts you have already given to the world,…and now in the process of changing a very violent sport that breeds insolence and violence. It doesn’t have to be that way, and you made a noble stand. God chose you to carry a valiant message to the world. So, yes, you… Jonathan Martin has been favored by the Gods! You will make this world a better place to live, by your courage to believe in “justice”!