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Former Stanford football player detained after posting threatening photo

Jonathan Martin ’12 was detained by Los Angeles police authorities after posting a photo on his Instagram story that appeared to threaten his high school alma mater, Harvard-Westlake. Both Harvard-Westlake campuses cancelled classes on Friday. (Rob Ericson/Stanford Athletics)

Police took former National Football League (NFL) and Stanford football player Jonathan Martin ’12 into custody on Friday following an Instagram story update that appeared to threaten his high school alma mater, Harvard-Westlake, an independent preparatory school in Los Angeles. The post referred to Martin’s experience as a victim of bullying.

In what they called an “abundance of caution,” Harvard-Westlake officials decided to cancel the school day for both its Studio City and Beverly Crest campuses on Friday.   

On Thursday evening, Martin posted a photo of a shotgun on his verified Instagram account’s story. In the post he included the caption, “When you’re a bully victim & a coward, your options are suicide, or revenge.” He also placed the hashtag #HarvardWestlake on top of the rifle in the photo. 

A 144-page report released to the NFL in 2014 concluded that Martin was subjected to “a pattern of harassment” by Richie Incognito, John Jerry and Mike Pouncey, three of his Miami Dolphins teammates. The report found that Martin was “ridiculed with racial insults and other offensive comments” and “taunted with sexually explicit remarks about his sister and mother.”

In the post, Martin tagged Incognito and Pouncey, as well as James Dunleavy, a former Harvard-Westlake classmate who played basketball for USC.

This incident occurred in the wake of the Feb. 14 shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida that left 17 dead.

Contact Courtney Douglas at ccd4 ‘at’ stanford.edu.

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