It was only natural that Jim Harbaugh was asked to comment on the locker room atmosphere of the San Francisco 49ers.
In light of a recent incident involving members of the Miami Dolphins, including tackle Jonathan Martin, a former standout player for Harbaugh at Stanford, and veteran lineman Richie Incognito. The issue between the two has spilled out into public light. Because of that, the 49ers coach was asked about his policies with his own NFL club.
Harbaugh, however, wasn’t willing to share the specifics of how his team addresses locker room mentorship between veterans and young players. He only wanted to show support to Martin, a player he recruited out of high school.
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“Yeah, I could and I’d be glad to at a different time,” the 49ers coach said. “I don’t think that this is the forum for that discussion. But you bring that up to me at some point where it’s not related to this story, like I said, anything else is hearsay on my part.”
“And if you want hearsay just tune into ESPN,” the 49ers coach said. “They’re rolling it all day long. Plenty of hearsay.”
Harbaugh said the 49ers addressed the topic in a team meeting, but his true point of view was to only comment on what he knows: The personality of Martin, a second-year tackle.
“As far as that situation, there’s only one thing that I can intelligently comment on and that’s knowing Jonathan Martin,” Harbaugh said. “I know him to be a fine person and his family. A great contributor as a student and an athlete at Stanford. Epitomizes the student-athlete model and then a personal friend. So, I support Jonathan.”
"It's a whole interesting story to me in general," the right guard said.
"People on the outside, they don't understand what it's like to be in the NFL," Boone said. "It's not all gummy bears and hugs every day."
The mauling lineman went on to explain that the physical demands of the NFL lifestyle takes a toll on the players involved, but the key to avoiding such incidents like the one in Miami is to be more vocal and up front about troubling moments that cause distress.
"This whole situation has kind of gotten out of control," Boone said. "I think the one thing that people forget, and this is very important to remember, these are football players. These aren't people who go to work and wear suits and ties, where there's no HR, there are no rules in that locker room.
"That is a jungle and it is fun. It is a blast to be in there and sometimes it gets taken too far and people say the wrong things, but that's always in-house."
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