While most people have been shocked to hear that an NFL player — let alone a 315-pound offensive lineman — could be treated the way Richie Incognito allegedly treated Miami Dolphins teammate Jonathan Martin, Martin’s high school football coach does not seem all that surprised. In an interview with the Palm Beach Post on Tuesday, Vic Eumont discussed the situation involving his former player.
Eumont, who coached Martin at an upscale private school in California called Harvard-Westlake, said he can understand why Martin would have trouble adapting to the NFL culture.
“Before he wasn’t around Nebraska, LSU kind of guys,” Eumont explained. “He’s always been around Stanford, Duke, Rice kind of players. … In locker rooms full of Nebraska, LSU, Southern Cal players, Miami players, they’ll look at (his quiet personality) as a weakness.”
In other words, Eumont feels the guys from schools like Nebraska — where Incognito played — are a bit more rugged. Martin, who went to Stanford to play football despite being accepted into Harvard Law School, is more of the polite, quiet type.
“He always wanted to make everybody happy and make friends and not be a problem,” Eumont said. “All of his teachers loved him. All of his teammates loved him. His nickname was Moose and he was happy to have that. He was always ‘yes or no sir,’ do whatever you ask him to do. I can see where somebody that’s a bully will take advantage of him, and rather than him say anything would just hold it inside.
“I can see where if somebody was bullying him he would take that to heart, and be concerned and think it was his fault.”
Eumont speculated that Martin was probably too embarrassed to approach head coach Joe Philbin or one of his teammates to talk about being harassed. The comments Antrel Rolle made about how Martin should be a “grown-ass man” and stand up for himself remind us why it would be difficult to seek help.
Bullies usually go after people like him,” Eumont said. “With his background, he’s a perfect target.”
Eumont is a private school kid who could have been the fourth generation in his family to enroll at Harvard. He may still attend school there when his NFL career is over. NFL players are expected to be macho and not take sh– from anyone. That’s just the truth of the matter. Martin provides us with a prime example of why that culture needs to be tweaked.
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