On Tuesday, Ohio State’s former football coach Urban Meyer confirmed that the photo was used, but claims that he didn’t have any prior knowledge of it.
“I didn’t know about it until one hour ago, until after talking to (former safety Tyvis Powell),” Meyer told Rob Oller of the Columbus Dispatch.
“I wasn’t there (in the meeting),” Meyer said. “None of the coaches were present. It was a support staffer who was in error and apologized.”
On Jan. 1, Buckeyes cornerback Marcus Williamson brought the situation to light on Twitter.
My first team meeting. (True story 2017) This photo was presented to us via PowerPoint to institute our building wide rule of “no hoods” in the building pic.twitter.com/bGdJVZaEVT— Marcus Williamson (@WW_Marcus) January 2, 2022
“My first team meeting (True story 2017),” his tweet read.” This photo was presented to us via PowerPoint to institute our building-wide rule of “no hoods” in the building.”
Previously, Meyer told Ohio State reporter Jeff Snook that he never used an image of Martin as part of a presentation about not wearing hoodies.
“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 said. “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 he 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.”
As EBONY previously reported, 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot and killed in 2012 by George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch captain who had earlier called 911 to report a “suspicious person” was in his neighborhood. Zimmerman was acquitted on all charges.
Meyer was Ohio State’s head coach from 2012 to 2018 before retiring from coaching after the Buckeyes’ appearance in the 2019 Rose Bowl against Washington.
After a three-year hiatus, Meyer was hired by the Jacksonville Jaguars in January 2021, before being fired after one season.