Posted: 1:39 pm Tuesday, November 5th, 2013
By Andrew Abramson
If anyone knows what Miami Dolphins’ Jonathan Martin is like inside, it’s Vic Eumont. And that’s why Eumont believes that Martin was targeted by teammates.
“Bullies usually go after people like him,” Eumont said. “With his background, he’s a perfect target.”
Eumont coached Martin at Harvard-Westlake School, an upscale private high school in Studio City, Calif.
Eumont, in an interview with The Palm Beach Post today, said Martin fit in well at Harvard-Westlake and at Stanford. But when he got to the Dolphins, his personality didn’t fit in with the crowd.
“Before he wasn’t around Nebraska, LSU kind of guys,” said Eumont, a former Tulane offensive guard. “He’s always been around Stanford, Duke, Rice kind of players.”
“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 hasn’t spoken to Martin since he left the Dolphins last week but he did reach out to Martin’s father by e-mail.
Eumont said he believes Martin was too embarrassed to approach coaches or other teammates about his issues.
“That’s when he turned inward,” Eumont said. “Eventually you’re going to explode. At least he didn’t explode into violence. He exploded by walking away.
“I think he’s a guy the Dolphins should work to get back in the fold. I think he can be an excellent player. He’s a great kid. He’s worth saving. If ever there’s a kid worth saving, he’s one of them.”
But Eumont understands that Dolphins players may not welcome Martin back in the locker room after leaving the team and after Richie Incognito, a popular player in the Dolphins locker room, was suspended indefinitely for his role in the case. Dolphins players have continued to back Incognito and don’t believe anything wrong occurred.
“In locker rooms full of Nebraska, LSU, Southern Cal players, Miami players, they’ll look at this as a weakness,” Eumont said. “If he makes it through all this, and if he was encouraged to come back, he’d come back with a vengeance.”
Both of Martin’s parents went to Harvard University and Martin passed up on a chance to go to Harvard so he could play football at Stanford.
If Martin had gone to Harvard, his family would have been the first four-generation African American family at the prestigious Ivy League university, Eumont said. Martin still plans to go to Harvard Law School when he’s done playing football. If he decides not to return to the NFL, Eumont assumes he will go to Harvard.
Eumont said Martin “couldn’t have come from a better family” and that he’s not your typical NFL player.
By choosing Stanford over Harvard, Martin had to play for a tough coach in Jim Harbaugh, who is now head coach of San Francisco. Eumont said he helped toughen Martin up in high school and make him a disciplined football player.
“He was always a big kid, but one thing is he wasn’t very strong in high school,” Eumont said. “He had to work at Stanford to do that. He thanked me personally for helping him to be able to handle Jim Harbaugh because Jim Harbaugh is pretty tough. I’m that style of coach too. He was happy I was able to make him a disciplined player.”