Football coaches from Nick Saban to Jim Harbaugh have released statements surrounding the death of Minneapolis, Minnesota, man George Floyd in police custody, including Florida State football head coach Mike Norvell.
But according to Seminoles defensive tackle Marvin Wilson, Norvell’s statement that he “went back and forth individually” with every player on the roster was fabricated, and the coach sent out a generated text message instead.
Wilson is a team captain for FSU and has been one of their standout defensive linemen since his rookie season with the team, totaling 12.5 tackles, 8.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and five passes swatted.
Norvell was announced as the Seminoles’ head coach on December 8, 2019, after signing a six-year, $3.75-million deal to head to Tallahassee after four-straight winning seasons at the helm for Memphis.
Wilson’s reaction comes after The Athletic’s Tashan Reed tweeted out a statement from the coach on June 2:
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.
Reactions from FSU LB & Other ACC Players
Only one FSU player has addressed Wilson’s tweet: linebacker Kalen DeLoach, who added exclamation marks in a quote tweet of his teammates’ words.
Wilson retweeted DeLoach, and also retweeted the responses of two ACC defensive ends, Clemson defensive end Xavier Thomas and Duke’s Drew Jordan, who both voiced support for Wilson’s claim.
Thomas has been a key player on the Clemson defensive front since getting with the team as a freshman in 2018, totaling 5 sacks, 16.5 tackles for loss and two forced fumbles.
Thomas did not address his Clemson HC Dabo Swinney’s comments after Floyd’s death but did retweet the statement’s audio put out by the Tigers’ official Twitter account.