2:53 PM ET
Adam RittenbergESPN Senior Writer
- College football reporter.
- Joined ESPN.com in 2008.
- Graduate of Northwestern University.
Florida State star defensive lineman Marvin Wilson said he had to take a stand for college athletes and George Floyd when he disputed Mike Norvell’s account of how the coach responded to the team following Floyd’s death last week in Minneapolis.
After a team meeting Thursday morning, Wilson released an Instagram post in which he thanked Norvell for “encouraging me to use my platform and speak for what me and teammates believe in.”
Wilson said the team came away from the meeting with three goals: voter registration for players, fundraising efforts to help send more black children to college, and fundraising specifically to help children in Tallahassee, Florida.
“Me being a man of color, I want to be that change,” Wilson said. “I’m going to be an educated millionaire with a degree. And I’ll be able to tell those kids that you can be whatever you want in this world if you put your mind to it and you work hard, because you come from royalty.
“You are black, and you should be proud of that. You stand for something, and you mean something. You have a story to tell and a story that needs to be heard no matter what. You are special.”
Earlier Thursday, Wilson disputed Norvell’s account that the coach had communicated individually with players to discuss Floyd’s death, as Norvell had said he had done during an interview with The Athletic earlier this week.
In the interview, Norvell said he “had a lot of open communication” with his players and “went back and forth individually with every player this weekend.”
Wilson, a team captain in 2019, tweeted he and his teammates would not be working out “until further notice.”
Norvell issued a statement Thursday afternoon thanking Wilson and to say he was wrong to say that he spoke with “every” player.
“Last Saturday evening, I sent a text to each player individually to present an opportunity for open communication with me,” Norvell said in the statement. “Many members of our team chose to respond and have more in-depth conversations about issues and feelings. Marvin is right. It was a mistake to use the word ‘every.’ Particularly at this time, words are important, and I’m sorry. … We will continue to communicate and work together to be part of the solution making our world a better place for ALL.”
FSU athletic director David Coburn told the school’s board of trustees Thursday morning that the team meeting was open, candid and emotional.
“[The players] are angry, they are hurt, they are frustrated, they’re concerned, and some of them are just scared,” Coburn told the board. “They had a number of good ideas about what we in athletics can do to help.”
Coburn said the players challenged him to speak out on their behalf. After the meeting, Florida State linebacker Kevon Glenn tweeted, “We love our coach and we are together as a team. FSU football team and coaching staff is fine and working.”
We love our coach and we are together as a team. FSU football team and coaching staff is fine and working💯. See y’all in fall🍢
— Kevon Glenn💭🏈💰 (@kevontglenn) June 4, 2020
Wilson, a senior from Houston, is the No. 9 prospect overall and No. 1 defensive tackle on ESPN NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr.’s 2021 Big Board. He had 8.5 tackles for loss and five sacks in nine games before suffering a season-ending hand injury in 2019.
“I want to shout out [former 49ers quarterback] Colin Kaepernick for really being the first athlete I ever saw really take a stand for something he believes in,” Wilson said during the Instagram video. “I believe thoroughly that black people have been oppressed for way too long in America.”