The Trayvon Martin case and subsequent verdict have had a major affect on the nation, and one that will likely reverberate for years to come. While opinions on the decision are hotly contested, one university took it upon themselves to honor the slain youngster’s father in touching way.
Florida A&M University has named Tracy Martin an honorary captain for the team’s season opener against Mississippi Valley State on September 1st. Along with the captain honor, Martin will also participate in the pre-game coin toss.
Florida A&M is located in Tallahassee and is the largest historically black university by enrollment in the United States. The university’s support of Martin is reflective of much of the African American community in the country as they attempt to come to terms with the controversial verdict.
Martin was also given a chance to speak to the team. Coach Earl Holmes said of Martin’s words to the players that “[He] got a standing ovation from our guys. He talked about just persevering and told the guys to keep on pushing through the hard times. The message he shared with the kids was very positive and they were very responsive.”
Martin has also started a charity in the aftermath of his son’s death. Holmes cited the charity as another reason for the support for martin: “I think what he’s doing with the foundation is big and it speaks volumes, and I want the football team and FAMU Nation to be part of that.”
While the Trayvon Martin verdict will continue to leave a sour taste in the mouth of much of the country, at least the Martin family was able to find a positive outlet for their grief and the support of an institution like FAMU.