Urban Meyer is always an unreliable narrator, so anything he says you have to take with a grain of salt.
I was fairly confident that ex-OSU DB Marcus Williamson was telling the truth about the Trayvon Martin story, but I tried to explain to people that if you listened to what Williamson said, he never directly said Urban had anything to do with it, he just said it happened. Urban should have taken that info and taken the time to find out what exactly happened before issuing a blanket denial because now people don’t believe him when he said he had no idea what happened.
Here is exactly what happened via Columbus Dispatch.
Trying to make sense of it all was former Buckeyes safety Tyvis Powell, who went on Twitter to clarify Williamson’s hoodie tweet. Former OSU players told Powell that a white staffer in the program used the picture of Martin without understanding the potential damage. That person later apologized to the players.
Former Ohio State coach Urban Meyer told The Dispatch that until Tuesday he was unaware the Martin photo appeared during a freshman orientation meeting that outlined program rules and protocols. Meyer on Sunday told author Jeff Snook the photo incident “never happened.”
“I didn’t know about it until one hour ago, until after talking to (Powell),” Meyer said Tuesday. “I wasn’t there (in the meeting). None of the coaches were present. It was a support staffer who was in error and apologized.”
I contacted Powell, who explained he wanted everyone to know Williamson was not lying about the situation involving the hoodie and Martin, but also stressed the staffer’s mistake does not make the coaching staff or program racist.
“People think it’s racist to show that photo of Trayvon Martin, and I understand where they’re coming from,” Powell said. “To the black culture that is huge. There will be an uproar whenever that is brought up in a meeting or whatever context. Automatically it is offensive to people.”
As someone who is an alum of Ohio State, I can tell you that, of course, racism exists on campus. When you have a campus that is 90% white rural midwesterners, there will be some racism. Like any other major-college football program, the players, though, are treated like GODs. The problem is there are only so many starting positions, and everyone wants to the NFL. Soon as you are no longer a benefit to the football team, you are just a black man in Ohio, which isn’t a great thing to be.
Flip the pages for some of Marcus Williamson’s tweets.