FSU football players ask for unity, lead walk to Capitol
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- “Everybody can talk about it but we have to have action. To show a unified country.”
Those were the words of Florida State Head Football Coach Mike Norvell ahead of Saturday’s Unity Walk. Although those were words that take a nation-wide outlook, Seminoles’ defensive tackle Corey Durden, who brainstormed the event earlier in the week, says it all starts in the locker room.
“People were trying to make things so tense outside of the team,” said Durden of last week’s situation where Norvell was forced to apologize after he gave an over-embellished quote to The Athletic about his communication with the team about the subject of race.
“They didn’t know that it didn’t affect the team or the relationship with the coaches at all and I feel like this is kinda something to bring people together and see if we have the support people say they have for us.”
The mile and a half walk from Doak Campbell Stadium to the Florida Legislature is not just symbolic of standing together, but for some, being able to stand at all.
“I’ve always wanted to state my opinion but I knew the position I was in; I wasn’t able to do that because of the backlash and the setback I could take,” said defensive back Jaiden Lars-Woodbey of the event and staying silent on previous issues.
“Right now everybody’s on the same accord.”
An opportunity for those who wear the garnet and gold to go beyond the helmets and shoulder pads to see the men inside.
“We’re more than football players, we’re regular people just like everybody around us. We’re no better than anybody else,” said Defensive Tackle Marvin Wilson. “We just want people to come out and understand Black lives matter and help us come together as one.”
A process the team is ready to take on one step at a time.