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Florida State athletic director, FSU football players react to Mike Norvell statement

Senior defensive tackle takes exception to his new head coach’s reported words.

Mike Norvell
Mike Norvell Introduction Press Conference
Tomahawk Nation


Head coach Mike Norvell has issued a statement via his Twitter. Norvell expresses his pride for Marvin Wilson and regret of his word choice in an interview with The Athletic:

Here’s the content of the original text message to the players, as well:

“Good evening (name) I wanted to shoot you a short message sorry I can’t send video cause I’m driving. I wanted to let you know that Maria and I are praying for every coach & player as well as for our country. For all those that have been victims of hateful actions, discrimination, prejudice and disrespect we lift them up in our thoughts and seek justice. We live in an unfair and volatile world but I want you to know that you are loved & counted on to make a difference for our country’s future. I know there is anger and strong feelings that come with each day and every experience but please know better days are ahead because of YOU. Be safe and please always know we are here for you as coaches and staff if you ever need to talk. You have a tremendous platform as member of our Nole Family. Let’s be different and let our actions be heard in Service, Sacrifice, and Respect. Thank you for opportunity to coach you and stand by your side can’t wait to see you tomorrow night in zoom meeting!”

Marvin Wilson has issued a statement via his Instagram, explaining his motivations behind calling out Norvell’s statement, addressing what actions can be taken to make things better and why it’s so much bigger than just Florida State football, given the situations he’s endured and seen around Tallahassee:

Across the sports world, coaches and athletes have offered their opinions on the current civil movement spreading across the country in the wake of George Floyd’s death, including the Florida State Seminoles’ women’s basketball team.

Earlier this week, The Athletic beat writer Tashan Reed reported that Florida State Seminoles head coach Mike Norvell told him the following:

The quote came after a previous one issued by Norvell, in addition to passionate ones from defensive line coach Odell Haggins and linebackers coach Chris Marve:

Early Thursday morning (or late Wednesday night, depending on your perspective), defensive tackle and projected first round pick Marvin Wilson took issue with the statement, claiming that Norvell didn’t have individual conversations with his players.

Several other Florida State players seemingly tweeted in reaction to Wilson’s post:

Athletic director David Coburn spoke about the incident during today’s Board of Trustee’s meeting, saying the team met and that he believes its “moving on.”

Some of his words today on the call, via The Osceola:

“They were open and candid with all of us. They are angry, they are hurt, they are frustrated. And some of them are just scared. They had a number of good ideas about what we can do in athletics.

“I will tell you that they challenged me a little bit about speaking out on their behalf. They asked if I was concerned about offending rich, powerful boosters and supporters. I thought about that and I thought about you as a group and I told them no. …

“As all of you know, I’m more of a listener than a speaker. Frankly I’d rather have a root canal than make a speech. But I want to talk to you all for a few minutes on their behalf. These student-athletes are important. They are important to me and they are important to you. They are why we do what we do. They are important because they represent our future as well as the current situation. Athletics is more than a mirror in which we see a reflection of society, the good and the bad. It’s also the lens through which we see society as it could and should. Athletics is where we see young men and women of all races and nationality competing with each other, cooperating with each other. Helping each other out. Screaming at each other one minute, leaping into each other’s arms in sheer joy the next.

You and I see all of these things in athletics, but more importantly our children and our grandchildren see them. And that changes their perception of how society could and should do.

“Burning buildings, breaking windows, destroying property, those things don’t change human hearts, they harden them. But when Travis Rudolph went in to that school cafeteria and sat down with that little boy, that changed human hearts. Our student athletes know that it can be done and they know how to do it.

“What has happened in the last few days has change America, I think, forever. We’re all going to have to become comfortable with the uncomfortable. When that happens here and when student-athletes speak up, and they are going to speak up all over America, we are going to see and hear things from athletes that will make all of us uncomfortable and when it happens here at Florida State, I ask that you not be upset. That you be understanding. That you not be angry, but that you be supportive. These student-athletes are determined to help change things. And we in the Florida State administration and athletics, our coaches, our staff, everyone, are determined to help them and to help them make really sustainable change happen because this absolutely has to stop.”

Linebacker Kevon Glenn, who tweeted support of Marvin Wilson last night seems 100% on board with the FSU coaching staff:

Amari Gainer and Asante Samuel, Jr. seem to be all smiles while seemingly getting ready for workouts:

Running back transfer Jashaun Corbin weighs in:

Freshman defensive back Demorie Tate not mincing words:

Meanwhile, here’s what we’ve seen from Wilson’s linemate, Cory Durden:

This from recent Mississippi State transfer Jarrian Jones: