While dress codes at the workplace are fairly common, during Urban Meyer’s tenure as head coach of the Ohio State football program, the team took the rather unusual—and extremely offensive—step of using pictures of Travyon Martin to enforce the school’s “no hoodies” policy.
The accusation came to light over the weekend, when former Ohio State defensive back Marcus Williamson took to Twitter to blast the program with a myriad of shocking allegations and accuse the school of maliciously harming Black students.
“How much control do these institutions have over our young Black boys?” he tweeted. “My first team meeting. (True story 2017) This photo [of Travyon Martin] was presented to us via PowerPoint to institute our building-wide rule of “no hoods” in the building.”
But as is his modus operandi, Meyer, who left Ohio State in 2018, only to go on to become the biggest coaching disaster in NFL history, insisted to journalist Jeff Snook on Sunday that the incident “never happened”—kinda like how he denies anything ever happens under his watch.
“Our team rule was no hats or hoodies or sunglasses of any kind, but only in team meetings, just so we could see their eyes and make sure they were paying attention and not asleep,” Meyer told Snook. “We did not, and never would show a picture of Trayvon Martin. My gosh, no. That is absolutely false and you can check with any other player on my teams during that time to confirm what I am saying. Other players know what [Williamson] is saying is false. I would never do that. He is crossing the line here. It seems people are just piling on now. But that never happened.”
Unfortunately for Meyer, the Columbus Dispatch confirmed on Tuesday that that’s exactly what happened:
Columbus Dispatch columnist Rob Oller confirmed Tuesday that while Urban Meyer was the coach of the Ohio State football team a staffer used a photo of Trayvon Martin to amplify a team rule that said players couldn’t wear hoodies in the football building.
In response to this confirmation, Meyer denied any wrongdoing and insisted that not only was he not present when this incident occurred, but that he’s being falsely accused of condoning racism—as if he didn’t hire Chris Doyle as Jacksonville’s director of sports performance despite the fact that Doyle was fired from his previous gig for being both a racist piece of shit and abusive toward student-athletes.
But I digress.
“I didn’t know about it until one hour ago, until after talking to (former Buckeyes safety Tyvis 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.”
He continued, “My biggest thing is you use that ‘R’ word (racism) and it doesn’t matter if it’s true or not, people run with it.”
I can’t be the only one who noticed that Meyer didn’t take accountability for a staffer coming into his football program and spewing some wildly offensive shit to his players, but again, I digress. I also find it extremely difficult to believe that he had no knowledge whatsoever that this occurred, but whatever.
Much respect to Marcus Williamson for having the courage to come forward and put the Ohio State football program on blast.