49ers Blog and Q&A

News, notes and reader questions about the San Francisco 49ers

November 6, 2013
Harbaugh throws support behind former player Jonathan Martin

Jim Harbaugh today made a concerted effort to stay away from the Dolphins locker-rooming hazing controversy that has dominated NFL headlines the last three days. But he did state his support for one of the key figures, offensive tackle Jonathan Martin, whom he recruited at Stanford.

"There's only one thing that I can intelligently comment on and that's knowing Jonathan Martin. I know him to be a fine person ...," Harbaugh said. "Epitomizes the student-athlete model and (is) a personal friend. I support Jonathan."

Martin was a second-round draft pick of the Dolphins in 2012. He left the team last week after allegedly being victimized by bullying from veteran guard Richie Incognito.

The 49ers have a long-standing policy against rookie hazing that dates back to when Bill Walsh was the head coach. Harbaugh said that policy is "well-discussed" and "well-understood" by the players, but he declined to talk about it today.

"I don't think it's the forum for that type of discussion," he said. "But bring it up to me at some point when it's not related to this story. Anything else is hearsay on my part. If you want hearsay, just tune into ESPN. They roll it in all day long."

Nose tackle Glenn Dorsey said the attitude he picked up on upon arriving in Santa Clara was one in which the veterans made the rookies feel "as comfortable, as confident" as possible.

"The older guys, the veteran guys - they try to look out for the younger guys and the new guys," Dorsey said. "We don't really partake in all the hazing stuff. We try to help our young guys as much as we can because we're going need them throughout the year. So we want to make a smooth transition into the locker room, into the NFL."

-- Matt Barrows


Matt was born in Blacksburg, Va., and attended the University of Virginia. He graduated in 1995, went to Northwestern for a journalism degree a year later, and got his first job at a South Carolina daily in 1997. He joined The Bee as a Metro reporter in 1999 and started covering the 49ers in 2003. His favorite player of all time is Darrell Green.


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