Former NFL offensive lineman Jonathan Martin is facing criminal charges after allegedly making a threatening Instagram post that appeared to target some former teammates.
What are the details?
Authorities charged Martin with making criminal threats and carrying a loaded gun in connection with a threatening Instagram post made in February, according to ESPN.
The post in question was an image bearing the caption, “When you’re a bully victim & a coward, your options are suicide, or revenge.”
The image featured a shotgun and ammunition, according to the outlet, and four accounts were tagged. Two of those accounts belonged to former Miami Dolphins teammates Mike Pouncey and Richie Incognito.
Another account tagged belonged to James Dunleavy, who attended the Harvard-Westlake School with Martin. Harvard-Westlake was shut down for a day following the Instagram post, and later filed a workplace-violence-prevention restraining order against Martin, according to the outlet.
Los Angeles Police Department spokesman Josh Rubenstein told ESPN that the Los Angeles District Attorney did file charges against Martin.
What’s the background here?
In 2013, Martin’s Dolphins teammates reportedly bullied him to the point that he drove himself “straight to a hospital.”
The alleged bullying and teasing — specifically from Incognito — reportedly escalated into actual threats. The team suspended Incognito after the details of the accusations surfaced, and Martin reportedly sought counseling.
A 2014 investigation revealed that Incognito and two other Dolphins players did persistently harass Martin. Martin joined the San Francisco 49ers that same year.
Shortly after that, the Dolphins fired offensive line coach Jim Turner and head athletic trainer Kevin O’Neill over their roles in the alleged incidents.
Martin retired from the NFL in 2015 citing an injury. A month after announcing his retirement, Martin shared a candid Facebook update detailing his struggles with mental health and suicide attempts, ESPN reported:
Your job leads you to attempt to kill yourself on multiple occasions. Your self-perceived social inadequacy dominates your every waking moment & thought. You’re petrified of going to work. You either sleep 12, 14, 16, hours a day when you can, or not at all. You drink too much, smoke weed constantly, have trouble focusing on doing your job, playing the sport that you grew up obsessed with.
Martin’s post concluded by hoping to encourage young adults struggling with similar issues.
“You let your demons go, knowing that, perhaps, sharing your story can help some other chubby, goofy, socially isolated, sensitive kid getting bullied in America who feels like no one in the world cares about them,” he wrote. “And let them know that they aren’t alone.”