FSU Football Player Calls Out Coach's 'Lie' About George Floyd Conversations, Boycotts Workouts

"I went back and forth individually with every player this weekend," Florida State University football coach Mike Norvell told The Athletic

Mike Norvell, Marvin Wilson
Mike Norvell, Marvin Wilson. Photo: Jonathan Bachman/Getty; Chuck Burton/AP/Shutterstock

A Florida State University defensive tackle says he'll boycott practices after he claims the football team's coach lied in an interview about his communications with players surrounding the killing of George Floyd and subsequent protests.

This week, The Athletic's Tashan Reed tweeted quotes from a conversation he had with FSU football coach Mike Norvell about "whether #FSU had 'done anything as a staff to check in with them a little bit more in what may be a challenging time for them on another level?' in the wake of the killing of George Floyd."

Norvell told 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," the 38-year-old said. "You see some of the acts that have occurred; I mean, it is a problem. And it's something that we have to stay together and we have to work to get it fixed. I'll continue to share with our guys the platform that 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."

He also said, "I told these guys just how grateful I am to be a part of this journey with them because they are the future."

In response, Marvin Wilson, 21, tweeted that his coach was lying about the individual conversations.

"Man this [s---] did not happen mane," said the player. "We got a generated text that was sent to everybody. There was no one on one talk between us and coach. This is a lie and me and my teammates as a whole are outraged and we will not be working out until further notice 💯."

Jamarcus Chatman, another FSU player, retweeted the comment with the "100" emoji. Other players also retweeted Wilson's tweet.


According to Tallahassee Democrat reporter Curt Weiler, FSU's Director of Athletics David Coburn said that the team had a meeting on Thursday morning in response to Wilson's plan to boycott.

The meeting "was candid and went well," Weiler added.


In a statement provided to PEOPLE by FSU, Norvell said, "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 for 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. It was a mistake to use the word 'every,' " continued Norvell. "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."

On May 25 — despite being handcuffed and facedown on his stomach — Floyd, who was unarmed, was pinned to the pavement for nearly nine minutes during an arrest. All the while, Floyd could be heard on video groaning in pain. He repeatedly told the officers he couldn't breathe, and at one point, he called out to his mother for help.

Formal criminal charges have been filed in Minnesota against the three other policemen who were present at the time of Floyd's death. The new charges are on aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second degree manslaughter. They come five days after murder and manslaughter charges were announced against former officer Derek Chauvin.

On Wednesday, Chauvin's third-degree murder charge was also upgraded to second-degree murder.

Footage of the incident sparked widespread outrage and has led to nationwide protests over police brutality against people of color.

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