In a long, deeply affecting message, former Miami Dolphins tackle Jonathan Martin reported that he tried to commit suicide several times over how out of place he felt in college and in the NFL.
Martin broke his silence about his tribulations in a tweet posted on August 26 in which he discussed his anguish over never being able to find his center as a student or an NFL player.
If you don’t know… Now you know pic.twitter.com/hE3vimkXdu
— Jonathan A. Martin (@J_Martin71) August 26, 2015
Martin, a two-time All-American who played for the Dolphins as well as the San Francisco 49ers during his short NFL career, told fans that he felt his job led him to attempt to kill himself several times.
The tweet traced his unhappiness over his personal identity as far back as the private schools he attended as a teen where he felt it necessary to stifle his racial identity so as not to “scare” the white children and their families.
Martin says that he never felt “black enough” and felt that he was unwelcome in both the white world and the African American world.
His unease caused him to drink too much and do drugs, he said.
All of this, Martin said, led him to constantly consider suicide as a way out.
But by the end of his message to fans it appears that Martin at last came to understand himself and find peace.
“You realize who truly has had your back,” the former player wrote. “Who the people are who you need to embrace. And cherish every moment you have with them. 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.”
“And,” he concluded, “let them know you’re not alone.”
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at email@example.com