It's fairly fascinating to see the number of people who have an opinion on the Jonathan Martin-Richie Incognito-Dolphins situation. But the real stories -- or at the least the ones worth listening to -- come from those that know him best. For example, a former Stanford teammate like Seahawks wideout Doug Baldwin.
Baldwin appeared on CBS Sports Radio's MOJO on CBS on Tuesday night and spoke with Chris Moore and Jason La Canfora about Martin. Baldwin was thoughtful and reserved when it came to Martin's situation. But when La Canfora asked him about the perception - that Stanford players are "soft," you could tell Baldwin wanted to cut loose a little bit with his opinion.
"I have lots of things I would like to say about that. But I'm going to refrain ... I'll keep it politically correct. Stanford has developed a very physical program," Baldwin said. "If you don't believe me, ask any of the PAC-12 teams that played Stanford or teams outside the conference that have played Stanford how physical and how NFL-ready the players are that come out of Stanford. So for that to be said, on top of all the evidence that has come out about what has been said to Jonathan Martin with the text messages and voicemails and whatever else.
"For someone to call him soft when we see the text messages and voicemails and what has been said, it's disappointing that our society thinks it's OK for those things to go on and if someone can't take it, they're soft."
As noted earlier this week, the notion of calling people who come out of Stanford "soft" is absolutely ridiculous. David DeCastro, Andrew Luck and Richard Sherman don't seem soft. I don't even want to know what would happen if you met Jim Harbaugh at midfield and told him that his college players were soft.
Additionally, the things we've heard said to Martin -- by way of the voicemails and texts -- go beyond someone being soft if they react to it poorly. Baldwin declined to speak specifically on the matter -- "I still don't have an opinion on it" but said he had talked with Martin -- via text -- and clearly the issue must be serious if Martin was willing to walk away from football.
"I've known Jonathan Martin for three years in college and a total of five or six years now whatever it may be. I can only speak about Jonathan Martin's character," Baldwin said. "He's a great guy, a great teammate, a great person. It was shocking to hear because I knew that for something to move Jonathan out of the situation, out of the game he loves it had to be serious. So my prayers and well wishes go out to him because it's a tough time for him right now."
Baldwin was asked, too, what he specifically likes about Martin as a person. And the man he described isn't what you would really call soft.
"He's a consistent human being. No matter what's going on in his life he's going to be the same person regardless of what's going on," Baldwin said. "I can only speak to his character. I know he's a good person. He's never been in trouble. He's obviously a good student. He's a studious, cerebral player who loves the game of football, loves his teammates.
"He likes to play around and mess around as well as we all do. For it to be as serious as its become it had to be something serious."