Miami Dolphins offensive tackle Jonathan Martin's mid-week departure from the team stems from ongoing bullying by teammates over the past year-plus, Fox Sports reports. Several NFL teams have recorded anti-bullying messages for teens and pre-teens, but it appears the Dolphins haven't heeded such advice.
The report, via Jay Glazer and Alex Marvez, says that an "abusive environment" developed around the former Stanford star since joining the team in 2012.
Martin walked away from the team Monday after players played a prank on him during a team meal that involved other members of the offensive line refusing to sit with him. Martin reportedly slammed his food tray down and left the facility to seek help and spend time with family. This latest report further outlines the environment he was dealing with inside the locker room, and indicates that Monday's events reflect the last straw, rather than a random outburst.
This wasn't an abrupt action by Martin, who is Stanford-educated and the son of two lawyers who attended Harvard University. A source said Martin has tried dealing with a slew of indignities that crossed into personal and family insults, including being bestowed with the nickname of "Big Weirdo."
The Dolphins' organization has not elaborated on Martin's situation outside of listing him on the team's inactive report, but it appears front office members were aware of the bullying inside their locker room.
It's believed the Dolphins were aware that the cruel actions of some teammates toward Martin went well beyond the customary hazing sometimes given to NFL rookies and youngsters, the source said. Martin experienced some of that when the Dolphins appeared on the 2012 season of HBO's Hard Knocks.
It remains to be seen how long Martin will stay away from the organization, but the report characterizes a team of abusive players and veteran leadership that was unwilling to put a stop to things. This is the kind of unusual situation that typically doesn't reach the public, and it will be interesting to see how the front office reacts moving forward.