The Ted Wells investigation into the bullying of Jonathan Martin while he was a member of the Dolphins uncovered more than just disturbing behavior by Martin’s teammates — it revealed his deep insecurities dating back to high school.
The Instagram post, which came from a private but verified account, included a photo of a gun and bullets and was hashtagged #HarvardWestlake and #MiamiDolphins. Former Dolphins teammates Richie Incognito and Mike Pouncey, as well as two other people, were tagged in the post.
When looking back at the Wells investigation released in February 2014, text messages between Martin and his parents reveal deep-seeded issues related to his time at Harvard-Westlake.
The following is a text Martin sent to his mother on April 22, 2013:
“I figured out a major source of my anxiety. I’m a push over, 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, which fostered within me a feeling that I’m a huge pussy, as I never got into fights. 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…
“Everywhere I go, I get punked. I have a disagreeable personality, people are always annoyed by me. And I don’t know how to stop it. I don’t. High school still and will forever haunt me.”
Later that same day, Martin told his mother he was always perceived as “soft” because he wasn’t confrontational.
“I did it at Stanford, and didn’t gain anyone’s respect until I became a star,” he wrote. “Same thing in high school. I had no respect til [sic] I became a prospect.”
Roughly a week later Martin sent a message to his father telling him he wished he had his toughness after he just laughed off some calling him the n-word.
“I don’t do anything. I suppose it’s white private school conditioning, turning the other cheek,” the text read in part.
Thursday’s Instagram post is just the latest in a string of events that raise serious concerns about Martin. In a Facebook post in August 2015, Martin wrote of multiple suicide attempts, sleep problems and substance abuse.
Amid the bullying incident in Miami, Martin was traded to the 49ers in March 2014 and was released by the team a year later. He has not played in the NFL since.
The full Wells investigation can be read here. The text exchanges between Martin and his parents begin on page 103.