TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida A&M will make Trayvon Martin’s father, Tracy, the honorary captain for the Rattlers’ season opener against Mississippi Valley State on Sept. 1, a school spokesperson confirmed to FoxSportsFlorida.com.
Tracy Martin visited with the FAMU football team on Saturday afternoon. He was in Tallahassee while playing in a softball tournament and spoke to the Rattlers.
“He offered words of encouragement to the players to be responsible and take advantage of their opportunity to get an education,” FAMU spokesperson Vaughn Wilson said in an e-mail to FoxSportsFlorida.com.
“He came out and he was very, very encouraging,” Florida A&M coach Earl Holmes told the 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.”
The Rattlers will play Mississippi Valley State at Orlando’s Citrus Bowl, not far from where the Martins live in Samford.
George Zimmerman was found not guilty in July of second-degree murder and manslaughter charges in the death of Trayvon Martin, who was killed in Samford in February 2012.
The Martin family has established the Trayvon Martin Foundation (trayvonmartinfoundation.org), which hopes to bring awareness to violent crimes and support families that have been affected.
“I think what he’s doing with the foundation is big,” Holmes told the Sentinel. “And it speaks volumes and I want the football team and FAMU Nation to be part of that.”