Florida State head football coach Mike Norvell responded to being called out by team captain Marvin Wilson on Thursday, clarifying the differences between what he initially told to The Athletic’s Tashan Reed and what Wilson said happened.
Wilson took to Twitter to take umbrage with what Norvell told the reporter, after about half a day, Norvell released an official statement on the matter.
“I’m proud of Marvin for utilizing his platform to express his reaction to my comments in an earlier interview. Last Saturday evening, I sent a text to each player individually to present an opportunity to open communication with me. Many members of our team chose to respond and have more in-depth conversations about issues and feelings.
“Marvin is right. Particularly at this time, words are important, and I’m sorry. Once again, I am grateful for the opportunity that I was given to speak to our team more in-depth as a result of Marvin being willing to express his feelings. We will continue to communicate and work together to be part of the solution making our world a better place for all.”
Norvell’s Initial Statement in Full
Norvell’s apology and clarification come after his statement back on June 2, via The Athletic’s Tashan Reed.
We’ve had a lot of open communication with our team, our players and our coaches. I went back and forth individually with every player this weekend. And that was something that was important to me because this is a heartbreaking time in our country. You see hate and you see discrimination. You see some of the acts that have occured; I mean, it is a problem. And it’s something that we have to stand together and we have to work to get it fixed.
I’ll continue to share with our guys the platform they have and the opportunity that is there for them to make a difference, to be an influence and to be able to impact our country in a positive way by the overall mindset and approach of how we treat people to how we respond in situations.
I told these guys just how grateful I am to be a part of this journey with them because they are the future. We’ve got an incredible group of men that I get a chance to work with as players and coaches. I’m honored to have the opportunity to help make a difference. That’s something that we definitely have talked about in a big-picture team approach, but also, more specifically, the individual and group conversations. We’re trying to meet our guys at their need and be able to share some of the emotions that we’re all going through.
Wilson Releases Video Thanking Norvell
After Norvell’s official apology, Wilson responded on Twitter through video.
In the video, Wilson said that Norvell and the team met and talked about what yesterday meant for him.
“Yesterday, I took a stand. That was not only for me and FSU football, not even for athletes in general, it’s for big George Floyd and black people in general. For the oppression we’ve been going through for over 400 years.”
Evan Reier is a sportswriter covering all kinds of football for Heavy.com and local sports for the Montana Standard in Butte, MT. Follow and reach out to him on Twitter at @evanreier.