Bullied former NFL lineman Jonathan Martin admits to suicide attempts in heartfelt Facebook post

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Did Richie Incognito Ruin Jonathan Martin's Career?


By JOHN DORN

Last month, NFL offensive lineman Jonathan Martin, then in Carolina Panthers training camp, announced that he was retiring from football. He cited a back injury that would've required surgery. Martin confirmed today what the general public could've easily surmised: The injury was only part of the issue.

Martin and then-teammate Richie Incognito were involved in last year's infamous bullying scandal, which featured a vulgar voicemail from Incognito to Martin and a complete record of text messages between the two -- some including Incognito, a white player, calling Martin the N-word.

Incognito contested that their relationship was playful, with teammates likening the two to brothers. Martin eventually left the Miami Dolphins in the beginning of the 2013 season -- his second NFL season, after starting all 16 games as a rookie -- and eventually was granted a trade to the San Francisco 49ers, where he spent last season.

Incognito was dismissed from the Dolphins shortly after the scandal broke loose, just recently signing a contract with the Buffalo Bills for this season.

In a Facebook post early Wednesday, Martin revealed the full story behind his unfortunate NFL story. After internal struggles for seemingly his entire life, he's trying to help others battling similar issues.



The entire essay, which he also tweeted, is a brutally honest look behind the doors Martin has kept closed through his entire time in the public eye. The most crushing bit undoubtedly being the revelation that he attempted suicide "on multiple occasions." He says he drank too much and started smoking marijuana to help ease his internal pain.

Martin's case is one that shows us how trivial the game of football can be when dealing with actual human beings. After spending his entire life making sacrifices for the game he loved, he wound up sacrificing football to finally find the peace that will keep him alive.

That's more important than any job in professional sports -- and anything at all.

See photos of Martin throughout his career:
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Bullied former NFL lineman Jonathan Martin admits to suicide attempts in heartfelt Facebook post
Stanford offensive tackle Jonathan Martin during Stanford football Pro Day on the Stanford University campus in Stanford, Calif., Thursday, March 22, 2012. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
Stanford offensive tackle Jonathan Martin during Stanford football Pro Day on the Stanford University campus in Stanford, Calif., Thursday, March 22, 2012. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
INDIANAPOLIS, IN - FEBRUARY 25: Offensive lineman Jonathan Martin of Stanford looks on during the 2012 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium on February 25, 2012 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Miami Dolphins offensive lineman Jonathan Martin, who recently left the team, attends the Southern California-Stanford NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
FILE - In this Dec. 16, 2012 file photo, Miami Dolphins tackle Jonathan Martin (71) watches from the sidelines during the second half of an NFL football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, in Miami. Martin wants to return to the NFL, he said in an interview aired Wednesday where he claimed that racial, aggressive and sexually charged comments all played a role in his departure from the Dolphins. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)
DAVIE, FL - JULY 27: Jonathan Martin #71 of the Miami Dolphins looks on during practice at the Miami Dolphins training facility on July 27, 2013 in Davie, Florida. (Photo by Ron Elkman/Sports Imagery/ Getty Images)
FILE - In this July 24, 2013, file photo, Miami Dolphins guard Richie Incognito (68) and tackle Jonathan Martin (71) stand on the field during NFL football practice in Davie, Fla. Pending free agency and a racially charged bullying scandal could add up to a completely overhauled Miami Dolphins offensive line and some players looking for a job. Several Miami linemen are at the center of the NFL-ordered report, including Incognito, Martin, John Jerry and Mike Pouncey. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)
Miami Dolphins lineman Jonathan Martin speaks to members of the media outside the office of the NFL lawyer investigating the team's bullying scandal, Friday, Nov. 15, 2013, in New York. The league is trying to gather information about the harassment Martin says he was subjected to by teammate Richie Incognito. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
FILE - In this June 19, 2014, file photo, San Francisco 49ers offensive tackle Jonathan Martin walks off the field during NFL football minicamp in Santa Clara, Calif. Martin is concerning himself with all that he can control to earn a spot on the 53-man roster when final cuts are complete Aug. 30. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)
ARLINGTON, TX - SEPTEMBER 07: Tackle Jonathan Martin #71 of the San Francisco 49ers during the NFL game against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium on September 7, 2014 in Arlington, Texas. The 49ers defeated the Cowboys 28-17. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 7: Jonathan Martin #71 of the San Francisco 49ers sits on the bench as the final seconds tick away during the game against the Oakland Raiders at O.co Coliseum on December 7, 2014 in Oakland, California. The Raiders defeated the 49ers 24-13. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
ST. LOUIS, MO - OCTOBER 13: Jonathan Martin #71 of the San Francisco 49ers stands for the anthem on the field prior to the game against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome on October 13, 2014 in St. Louis, Missouri. The 49ers defeated the Rams 31-17. (Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images)
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