Morgantown, West Virginia – Make no mistake about it, this doesn’t look good for Kerry Martin, Jr. After speaking out against former West Virginia defensive coordinator Vic Koenning concerning “mistreatment” which ultimately led to the firing of Koenning, moments ago Martin announced that he has decided to “opt out of the upcoming football season”, citing health concerns
The obvious reaction from a rabid fanbase like we have is to question the player’s heart, his motives, his desire to be a part of the team. Social media is no doubt already lit up with comments from fans calling Kerry Martin, Jr. every name in the book. However, as Mountaineers, we must continue to support this young man.
Remember, this is an unprecedented time in our history. Not only are we going through a worldwide pandemic, we’re also in a very sensitive time for race relations. Kerry Martin, Jr. is merely the lightning rod for these issues.
Kerry Martin, Jr. should not have to play for a coach that he feels is mistreating him and he should not have to risk his health to play football. Martin has sickle cell anemia, a red blood cell disorder in which there aren’t enough healthy red blood cells to carry oxygen throughout your body, as well as asthma. The long-term effects of COVID-19 are still very much unknown and it would be a major risk for someone with health conditions to play right now..
Again, Mountaineer fans will no doubt question whether Martin is cut out to be a college athlete with these issues, but remember, he was a 3rd team freshman all american last season. He’s a sensational talent who will one day be a huge part of the West Virginia defense.
That is if the fans don’t run him out of town before then. Kerry Martin, Jr. is an in-state player, he’s one of us, and no one but Martin and his family really know all that is going on in his life. Outside of the incredible stress that the Koenning situation caused and his own underlying health conditions, perhaps there’s even more going on here.
The only thing we can do is continue to show him love and support, and hope that one day he’s back out on Mountaineer Field doing what he does best. Like Martin said himself, “I will be back next season a much more dynamic player! Let’s Go Mountaineers!”