For the past two years, Didier Occident has been helping Florida State football players prepare for the future with his “Secure the Bag” financial literacy program.
Through formal team presentations and informal mentoring, the Virginia-based financial adviser has educated the Seminoles about everything from creating a budget and understanding the importance of saving to learning basic investment principles.
This week, Occident has watched FSU’s players branch out in a new direction.
In the wake of national protests condemning racial injustice and inequality, several FSU football players have come out with public statements of their own, advocating for change.
Defensive tackle Marvin Wilson followed his brief social media dust-up with head coach Mike Norvell by stating that he and his teammates had all agreed to become much more active socially and to register to vote as a team.
Numerous FSU players tweeted images of themselves wearing black football uniforms in support of the Black Lives
Wide receiver Tamorrion Terry and others have posted messages on social media calling for an end to police brutality. Tight end Camm McDonald penned a lengthy and uplifting message to the FSU fan base titled, “Letter to the Seminole family!”
“Seminole Nation, I love you,” the California native said. “In the same way we need you in Doak on Saturdays, we need you now, to help fight this opponent bigger than any we face on the field. Remember, none of us are free until all of us are free.”
Occident, who has gotten to know Lars-Woodbey through his financial literacy program, was not surprised at all when the former five-star prospect said he wanted to make a public statement. The two actually discussed the statement over the weekend
before Lars-Woodbey released it on Monday.
“He is on a mission to make the world a better place,” Occident said. “And to better himself in everything that he does.”
It should be noted that the players’ activism has not only been accepted by FSU’s coaching staff but it has been encouraged.
Norvell has publicly stated that he wants the Seminoles’ players to use their platform in a positive manner, and most of the players’ posts have been retweeted or “liked” by members of the coaching staff.
Occident, who also helps with Jameis Winston’s charitable foundation, said he believes what has transpired during the last week or two is only the beginning. He sees athletes like Lars-Woodbey not only making statements but backing up those words
“I’m so proud of him,” Occident said of the defensive back. “I’m proud of the way that he uses his platform. I’m proud of the way these guys use their platform, and I’m excited about the work ahead.”
NOTE: Be sure to watch the entire video above for a full conversation between Didier Occident and Warchant managing editor Ira Schoffel. Click here to learn more about Occident’s financial literacy program.