Jonathan Martin is opening up about the torment and alienation he felt through his childhood, admitting that at his lowest point, he even attempted suicide.
Martin was famous for his exit from the Miami Dolphins during the 2013 season. Martin, at the time a starter on the Dolphins offensive line, abruptly left the team in October and eventually opened up about what he described as bullying from fellow lineman Richie Incognito.
Now, Jonathan Martin is sharing more about the difficulties he found growing up, attending private schools in Los Angeles and not fitting in with either black friends or white ones. Martin said he turned to football as an attempt to look “cool” to those bullying him.
In a long message posted to Twitter (via Bleacher Report), Martin wrote about how the pressure only increased as he excelled at football.
“‘Friends’ who you played high school football with saying anything to get their name in an article. Former coaches blowing up your phone trying to be your financial advisor. Your god father suddenly appearing your senior year of college out of thin air bearing gifts, trying to get tickets to your games & slyly asking your parents to manage your money.”
“Your realize who truly has your back. Who the people are you need to embrace. And cherish every moment you have with them. You let your demons go, knowing that, perhaps, sharing your story can help some other chubby, goofy, socially-isolated, sensitive kid getting bullied in America who feels like no one in the world cares about them.”
“And let them know that they aren’t alone.”
Martin also made another, much more shocking revelation. He wrote that the pressures of his job in football made him attempt to “kill [himself] on multiple occasions.”
Jonathan Martin had a rocky road after his departure from the Miami Dolphins. Despite a report from investigator Ted Wells that pointed blame at Incognito and the Dolphins coaching staff and management, many blamed Martin and claimed he was too “thin skinned” to excel in the NFL.
He was traded to the San Francisco 49ers after that, where he had a difficult stay and wound up being cut. He was picked up off waivers by the Carolina Panthers, but decided to retire this offseason rather than have what would have been season-ending surgery. As NFL noted, Jonathan Martin was not expected to be in the running for a starting job with the Panthers.
[Picture by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images]