Ex-NFL Player Detained Over School Threat On Social Media
Los Angeles, CA – A former NFL player’s chilling social media post prompted his alma matter high school to close down on Friday.
“When you’re a bully victim & a coward, your options are suicide, or revenge,” former offensive lineman Jonathan Martin wrote in an Instagram post, which featured a photo of a shotgun and 18 shells scattered around it.
Martin, 28, tagged the Miami Dolphins in the photo, as well as the elite Harvard-Westlake High School, where he graduated in 2008, the Miami Herald reported.
The school’s name was written along the weapon’s barrel, and the team’s name appeared along the gun’s stock.
Martin was taken into custody on Friday, according to multiple news outlets.
School officials said they were made aware of the threat late Thursday night, and responded by closing down its Studio city and Beverly Crest campuses on Friday, the Los Angeles Times reported.
"The safety of our students, faculty, and staff is always our primary concern. So, out of an abundance of caution, we made the decision to close school today," school officials told Harvard-Westlake families in an email, according to the Los Angeles Times. "The school's private security team is working with the Los Angeles Police Department, which is present on both campuses. With these precautions in place, we believe there is no imminent threat to our campuses or our school community."
Former Miami Dolphins teammates Mike Pouncey and Richie Incognito were among the names tagged in the photo, both of whom Martin accused of bullying when he abruptly left the team in 2013.
A subsequent NFL-sanctioned investigation determined that Incognito and Pouncey had engaged in a “pattern of harassment” against Martin, to include “sexually explicit remarks,” and “racial insults,” CNN reported.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Martin went on to play for the San Francisco 49ers and the Carolina Panthers, before he retired from the NFL in 2015, due to a back injury.
After his retirement, Martin said that the perpetual abuse he experienced in the NFL led him to contemplate suicide. He said he also struggled while attending Harvard-Westlake, because he was “one of just a handful of minorities” at the school, the Los Angeles Times reported.
“You learn to tone down your size & blackness by becoming shy, introverted, friendly, so you won't scare the little rich white kids or their parents," Martin posted to social media in 2015. "Neither black nor white people accept you because they don't understand you. It takes away from your self-confidence, your self-worth, your sanity."
Incognito was suspended midway through the 2013 NFL season, and never played for the Dolphins again, the Miami Herald reported.
Pouncey continues to play for the Miami Dolphins.