Three Florida State wide receivers have spoken publicly about their concerns over the school’s transparency regarding coronavirus testing and policies, according to ESPN.
D.J. Matthews, a senior wide receiver from Jacksonville, tweeted he tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday night, according to the Tallahassee Democrat, but deleted the tweet later.
On Thursday, Matthews tweeted, “All the lies smh.”
Senior wide receiver Tamorrion Terry replied with, “I can’t believe this,” according to ESPN. The tweet was later deleted.
Another FSU receiver, Warren Thompson, posted an open letter on Twitter explaining how he felt regarding the safety measures in the Seminoles program.
“Being a student athlete is difficult during this time and the proper leadership regarding these problems does not exist,” Thompson wrote. “During the entire week of camp I have been lied to multiple times about the conditions of other players health as well as mine.”
“It has been shown to myself and the rest, that our leadership is based off an ‘I’ mentality with them only worried about their own future rather than their own athletes. I have been ridiculed about speaking up regarding this issue and it needs to be addressed for myself to safely continue the season. I myself am an introvert meaning my days go from being at the football facilities and back home day by day. I have done my best to take the proper precautions for myself and my teammates, to try and ensure a healthy environment during these radical times.”
“I want to play for Florida State University and have a great season for myself and our supporters. The lies from our leaders have backed myself into (a) corner putting my overall well being in jeopardy. The neglect to respond to this issue is very concerning and why I’ve (drawn) attention to it. I’ve put 1,000 [percent] into this team and my own craft. I’ve got (too) much to prove to the world and this problem is growing greater potentially preventing that from happening because I’ve spoken up!”
Other FSU players defended the program’s coronavirus protocols.
Joshua Kaindoh, who played at Bradenton’s IMG Academy before heading to FSU, said, “I feel safe, and if I didn’t, just like everybody, I have the choice to be here or not be here,” according to ESPN.
Asante Samuel Jr., who played at Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas, said on Twitter, “I feel safe coming to practice everyday because of the protocols FSU has in place!!!”
I feel safe coming to practice everyday because of the protocols FSU has in place !!!
— ASANTE SAMUEL (@godschild3_) August 13, 2020
Starting safety Jaiden Lars-Woodbey said on Twitter, “You guys can come here and check for yourself.. the FSU Athletic training staff has been doing everything in their power to keep us SAFE! They respected those who chose not to play this year for their safety. But what we can NOT do is let their efforts go unnoticed! Thank you.”
First-year head coach Mike Norvell spoke to reporters following Thursday’s practice, via a Zoom video conference call.
“We’re working through the policies and procedures that are in place for us,” Norvell said, according to ESPN, “but I’ve been very transparent with every player I’ve talked to.”
According to Tomahawk Nation, Norvell said, “I spoke with Warren last night. We had a one-on-one conversation. I’m sure we will have a follow up here soon.”
He also said, according to the outlet, that “players have the right to post what they want to post. I support all players and the platform they have.”