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