When Florida A&M takes the field Sept. 1 in Orlando for its season-opener against Mississippi Valley State, Tracy Martin will join the Rattlers on the field as an honorary captain.
Martin, the father of slain Central Florida teenager Trayvon Martin — whose death, along with George Zimmerman’s subsequent trial, garnered national attention — received the honor after speaking to the FAMU football team Sunday, FOX Sports Florida confirmed.
“[We] talked and I told him I’d love him to talk to the team. He came out and he was very, very encouraging,” Florida A&M coach Earl Holmes told the Orlando Sentinel. “ . . . [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.”
A jury of six women acquitted Zimmerman of second-degree murder and manslaughter charges in July, and in the month since, Martin and Sybrina Fulton, Trayvon Martin’s mother, have been working to build support of their Trayvon Martin Foundation.
“He had some inspiring words and the guys played off of that,” Holmes told the paper. “And we’re going to keep pushing for him and his foundation. He’ll be an honorary captain for us this year and he’s welcome any time.
“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 … At the end of the day, whether it’s good, bad or indifferent, a parent lost a child. He can live through us and we’re going to push on for him.”