Florida State coach Mike Norvell has yet to coach a game with the Seminoles, but managed to get the locker room turned against him on Wednesday night when he issued a statement claiming he had individual conversations with “every” player on the roster about the protests about George Floyd’s murder by Minneapolis police.
All-American defensive tackle Marvin Wilson quickly responded to that statement, calling it a lie, and saying that he and his teammates were “outraged” at Norvell making such a claim, when in fact, each player received what Wilson called “a generated text” and many did not have anything resembling a deep conversation with the coach.
Norvell issued an apology for his mischaracterization of what happened on Thursday, saying he applauded Wilson standing up and apologizing for using the word “every” when that was not in fact the case.
— Mike Norvell (@Coach_Norvell) June 4, 2020
Norvell’s apology went beyond just that statement, as Wilson gave an update on Instagram on Thursday about a team meeting they held in which he was a leader and helped enact a three part plan of action for how the program will work to help the Tallahassee community, particularly the black community, through scholarship opportunities, registering the entire team to vote, and fundraising for local schools.
“We met as a team today, coming together and we’re going to do three things,” he said in a video he posted on Instagram. “One, everybody on the team is going to be registered voters [and] we’re going to have our say-so in the next election.
“… No. 2, we’re going to go forward and we’re going to do different fundraisers and things like that to help … give money to organizations that help send black kids to college because we need more doctors, we need more lawyers, we need more politicians, we need more people with say so of color.
“No. 3 thing we’re going to do is we’re going to do more fundraisers to help kids around Tallahassee. You know, I’ve been in Tallahassee for four years and so many schools around Tallahassee are behind the poverty line, bro. It’s so many schools. You’ve got some schools that are almost 100% on free lunch. You’ve got … fifth grade kids taking care of their first or second grade little brother or sister. Going home and their mom is out working all night trying to provide to keep the lights on at night, know what I’m saying. … It really ain’t fair. … Me being a man of color, I want to be that change.”
Wilson goes on to say they need to be encouraging and lifting up black children, telling them they are special and valued, both boys and girls, and have an important story to tell the world. It is an impressive statement from the senior defensive tackle, who thanks Colin Kaepernick for being one of the first athletes he can remember stepping up and speaking out in this manner. Wilson’s message is important, but so is how he went about this, as it can hopefully show other college athletes that they have important voices that can enact change within their program and push those in power to give back to the community.