SANTA CLARA -- Bullying and hazing have no part in the 49ers locker room, safety Donte Whitner said in response to the national outcry following the Miami Dolphins' recent scandal involving offensive linemen Jonathan Martin and Richie Incognito.
"We play and we have fun, but we know not to cross certain boundaries," Whitner told SiriusXM NFL Radio on Tuesday night. "We know not to cross respect boundaries, and sexuality boundaries, and disrespect people as individuals. So we understand that."
Noting that the 49ers "don't have those type of issues" that have led to a league investigation into the Dolphins' work conditions, Whitner credited coach Jim Harbaugh's stance upon his arrival in 2011.
The 49ers, indeed, have been more "Band of Brothers" than "Build a Bully," two popular NFL credos.
"It came from Coach Harbaugh saying from Day 1, 'We're not going to do it,' " Whitner said. "The players, we really don't care to do it. We care more so about incorporating a rookie into our system to help us win football games and everything else that really goes on we don't care for."
As an example, Whitner pointed to the immediate impact rookie safety Eric Reid has made for the 49ers (6-2). Instead of playfully razing Reid's contributions, Whitner praised Reid's humbleness and intelligence.
"As far as other teams, I understand that people do hazing and they do stuff like that, and that goes on in locker rooms," Whitner said, "but if what was going on and said was happening (in Miami), that's totally wrong. ... Nobody in our locker room feels like it's right and we feel like something should be done about it."
On Tuesday, the 49ers locker room saw defensive co-captains Justin Smith and Patrick Willis come forward and speak to the media in support of Aldon Smith's return from substance-abuse treatment.
"Sometimes going through what he went through, the last thing you want is a million people saying they know what's right," Willis said. "The biggest thing is to be true to himself, keep a tight circle and understand if he wants to talk he can come to us."
Justin Smith noted that although the 49ers are excited about his return, Aldon Smith has to hold himself accountable: "I don't think anybody is anybody's babysitter in here. We're all adults in here and everybody handles their own business and he's going to handle his own business. It's going to be good."
Aldon Smith returned to the 49ers last week after a month at an out-of-state treatment facility. The 49ers have won five straight games without him, helping creating a positive environment upon his return.
"He had some issues, he cleaned them up a little, he's still a work in progress, but you can tell the difference in him already," Whitner said. "He's smiling each and every day. He's happy to be back. He even cut his hair. He looks younger, fresher and healthier. All we can be is a support system to him. .... We can't make any mistakes going forward."