On February 22nd, former NFL offensive lineman Johnathan Martin posted a rather disturbing picture to his Instagram story. The picture showed an image of a shotgun and shotgun ammunition strewn out with a message saying “When you’re a bully victim & a coward, your options are suicide, or revenge.”
His former teammates, Richie Incognito and Mike Pouncey, were both tagged in the post. He also included the hashtags “#HarvardWestlake” and “#MiamiDolphins.”
Martin was famously the subject of a 2013 scandal in which several Dolphins players, including Incognito and Pouncey, were found to have bullied Martin mercilessly. The coaches also asked Incognito to “toughen up” Martin and Incognito took that as an invitation taunt and emotionally torture Martin endlessly. It was also reported that Incognito had left Martin a highly graphic voicemail, calling him a racial slur, threatening to harm Martin’s mother, and even issuing a death threat. Martin sat out the remainder of the 2013 season, and Incognito was suspended, and after sitting out the entire 2014 season, Incognito eventually signed with the Buffalo Bills in 2015. Martin retired in 2015, citing injury concerns.
It appears that Martin may be mentally unwell as it seems like this picture could be construed as a threat against Incognito and Pouncey, as well as his former high school, the Harvard Westlake School in Los Angeles.
Harvard Westlake shut down for the day on Friday due to the possible security threat. The school released this statement in response:
“Last evening, we learned of an Internet post that mentions Harvard-Westlake by name. Out of an abundance of caution, and because the safety of our students, faculty, and staff is our top priority, we made the decision to close school today. We are working closely with law enforcement and will share more information when we are able.”
It remains to be seen what, if any, sort of action will be taken against Martin but it is clear he is unwell. Given the heightened tensions surrounding guns in the wake of the high school shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, some sort of response by police would seem likely.
UPDATE: Per KABC in Los Angeles, Martin was taken into custody by police in response to the post.