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Former NFL OL Martin reveals suicide attempts

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Jonathan Martin, who recently retired from the NFL after just three seasons, says he tried to commit suicide several times during his short stint in the NFL.

In a long post on Facebook late Tuesday night, the 26-year-old Martin wrote about the problems he had growing up as a racially mixed youth and said his unhappiness peaked in the NFL.

“Your job leads you to attempt to kill yourself on multiple occasions,” he wrote, using second-person literary narrative to refer to himself. “Your self-perceived social inadequacy dominates your every waking moment and thought. You’re petrified of going to work. … You drink too much, smoke weed constantly, have trouble focusing on doing your job, playing the sport that you grew up obsessed with.”

Martin, an offensive lineman who was dealing with a back injury, retired from the NFL this summer.

A second-round pick of the Miami Dolphins in 2012, Martin left the team in 2013 amid a bullying scandal that sparked an investigation into Richie Incognito and other teammates.

Martin spent last season with the San Francisco 49ers and had signed with the Carolina Panthers earlier this year.

In his Facebook post, he wrote, “You want to keep playing; but, having broken free of the addiction that football had been, you know inside that risking permanent debilitating injury isn’t worth it. So you retire.”

Martin said he came to realize that money and fame don’t matter and that family, close friends and happiness were the most important things.

Martin said his bi-racial background tormented him for years.

“Neither black nor white people accept you because they don’t understand you,” he wrote. “It takes away your self-confidence, your self-worth, your sanity.

“You’ve been told you aren’t ‘black enough’ your entire life. It nearly destroys you, many times, not fitting in. … You’re always inadequate, always the ‘pussy,’ the ‘weird kid who acts white.'”

“Years later, your time in the NFL is a wakeup call. In all likelihood, anyone else in your (bad) locker room situation probably wouldn’t take everything so personally, would’ve been able to brush it off. … But you’re different. Have always been different. Have always been more sensitive.”

He concluded by saying, “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 let them know that they aren’t alone.”


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