As the Miami Dolphins bullying story continues to unravel, Richie Incognito‘s dirty laundry seems to be the focus of every new story. There wasn’t much about Jonathan Martin‘s past, though, until now.
While Incognito has been dubbed a “bully” over the last week, Martin has been portrayed as the more quiet, lonely type. Martin’s high school coach at Harvard-Westlake High School in Hollywood, Calif., confirmed as much this week, even saying that he’s not surprised that he was bullied, according to the Palm Beach Post.
“Bullies usually go after people like him,” Harvard-Westlake School coach Vic Eumont said. “With his background, he’s a perfect target.”
After attending Harvard-Westlake, an upscale private high school, Martin went onto play football at Stanford. His experiences at both schools allowed him to develop as both a football player and a student, but it didn’t prepare him for the type of aggressive personalities he might face in an NFL locker room.
“Before he wasn’t around Nebraska [Incognito’s college], LSU kind of guys. He’s always been around Stanford, Duke, Rice kind of players,” Eumont said. “In locker rooms full of Nebraska, LSU, Southern Cal players, Miami players, they’ll look at this as a weakness. If he makes it through all this, and if he was encouraged to come back, he’d come back with a vengeance.”
Eumont didn’t seem to mean any harm with his comments, though, explaining that Martin might simply be an easy target for bullies like Incognito. The coach also noted his personal appreciation and respect for Martin, saying that he hopes the Dolphins work to get him back on the field.
“I can see where somebody that’s a bully will take advantage of him, and rather than him say anything would just hold it inside,” Eumont said. “I can see where if somebody was bullying him he would take that to heart, and be concerned and think it was his fault.
“I think he’s a guy the Dolphins should work to get back in the fold. I think he can be an excellent player. He’s a great kid. He’s worth saving. If ever there’s a kid worth saving, he’s one of them.”
While Incognito has been suspended indefinitely by the team, Martin is on an indefinite leave, and it seems unlikely he’ll return to the Dolphins this season.