Did the NFL’s anti-intellectual environment get the best of Jonathan Martin?

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Jonathan Martin tweetsDolphins’ offensive tackle Jonathan Martin has taken a leave of absence from the team, reportedly because of bullying by his teammates. Details are fairly sparse at this point, but it appears Martin has been subjected to “persistent bullying and teasing” since he was drafted by the Dolphins in 2012.

Martin, who protected Andrew Luck’s blindside at Standford, majored in classics (ancient history). Both of his parents are Harvard grads, and a CBS scouting report from 2012 claims “there is still a chance he will attend Harvard some day, to get a legal degree.”

Martin also scored a 35 on his Wonderlic exam — a total that’s about 10 points higher than the average offensive lineman, and higher than the median score for most professions (the median score for chemists, for example, is 31; systems analysts, 32).

There’s little doubt that Martin is a bright guy. Is this the reason he was bullied and taunted? Anti-intellectualism is common the United States, particularly in the South, and we can probably safely assume it’s more common in NFL locker rooms than in most break rooms.

An intellectually-minded person can feel quite alienated in an anti-intellectual environment.

Hopefully Martin’s teammates will come to their senses, and stop the foolishness.