Birmingham's Liam Ridgewell was shown no card for a robust challenge on Latics midfielder James McCarthy the same day, and Martinez believes more should be done to encourage creativity and eradicate bad tackles.
"The hardest thing in football is to be constructive and creative, and to produce the kind of attractive play that everybody wants to see," Martinez told the Wigan Evening Post.
"It makes football what it is, and I agree that the referees should be stronger and look to protect the flair players a little bit more.
"With those sorts of over-physical challenges, you have a lot to lose - and the rules should help the attacking players.
"A tackle does not have to be malicious to be dangerous. If it is mis-timed, you can still put someone's career on hold for nine months, which is a big price to pay.
"Paying the price of a broken leg because you are trying to be a creative player is too much of a risk. The rules should be a bit stricter."
Martinez accepted that Shawcross showed no malice but questioned why he had gone in for the tackle with such force.
"At the time, I thought that it was a late, late tackle, but I didn't think that it was malicious or that he was trying to hurt the player," Martinez said.
"But in that area of the pitch, it was unnecessary.
"You could understand if a player was the last man trying to save a goal or have an effect on the scoreline. But not when they are in an area where there is no real danger to the defensive team.
"Yes, we all want to see heart and desire in the game, but we cannot allow tackles like that which put players at big risk of injury. We all know what players like Aaron Ramsey can do on the ball, and defending is an art as well.
"But there is such a thin line when it comes to the physicality.
"Teams that are physical and hard to break down are perhaps being too successful at the moment."
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