Florida State players back off boycott threat over Mike Norvell’s comments

Florida State coach Mike Norvell speaks at a news conference in Tallahassee, Fla., on Dec. 8.
Florida State coach Mike Norvell was quoted as saying he reached out to each player over George Floyd’s death. Star player Marvin Wilson said that didn’t happen.
(Phil Sears / Associated Press)

Florida State football players and coaches ironed out their issues Thursday after players threatened a boycott over coach Mike Norvell’s comments in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death and the unrest that has followed.

On Tuesday, the Athletic’s Tashan Reed tweeted a quote from Norvell in which the first-year Seminoles coach said there had been “a lot of open communication” between the players and coaches and that he had “back and forth individually with every player this weekend” to discuss the recent events.

“And that was something that was important to me because this is a heartbreaking time in our country,” Norvell said, according to Reed.


“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. I told these guys just how grateful I am to be a part of this journey with them because they are the future.”

Star defensive lineman and team captain Marvin Wilson took to Twitter the next day to dispute much of what his coach reportedly said.

“Man this [feces emoji] did not happen,” Wilson tweeted. “... 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.”

Wilson added that he and his teammates were outraged and would not be working out “until further notice.” Several other FSU players — including defensive end Jamarcus Chatman, linebacker Kalen DeLoach, offensive lineman Darius Washington, linebacker Kevon Glenn and cornerback Isaiah Bolden — shared Wilson’s tweet.

But according to Tomahawk Nation, athletic director David Coburn said on a Board of Trustees call Thursday that a team meeting earlier that morning went well.

“I believe we are moving on,” Coburn said.

Wilson and others indicated as much later in the day.


“Took a stand we got what we wanted & we are moving forward!!!” Wilson wrote in an Instagram post. “I appreciate @coachnorvell for encouraging me to use my platform and speak for what me and teammates believe in.”

Glenn tweeted: “We love our coach and we are together as a team. FSU football team and coaching staff is fine and working 100%. See y’all in fall.”

Glenn’s tweet was shared by multiple teammates.

Norvell released a statement on the matter Thursday afternoon.

“I’m proud of Marvin for utilizing his platform to express his reaction to my comments in an earlier interview,” he said. “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.’ Particularly at this time, words are important, and I’m sorry. Once again, I am grateful for the oppoirtunity that I was given to speak to our team more in-dept 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.”