McNutt on career aspirations, what movement for racial justice means for his family
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - For former Hawkeye wide received Marvin McNutt, the recent developments around the country and the growth of the Black Lives Matter movement is personal.
“We have four beautiful kids, man, ranging from 17 to 3. This movement has been mostly about them,” McNutt said. “When I watch George Floyd, I picture my granddad, I picture my dad, I picture my brother, I picture myself, I picture my son.”
McNutt, Iowa’s all-time leading receiver, like a lot of other former Hawkeye athletes settled in Cedar Rapids to raise his family.
“And I just love Hawkeye football, honestly. It’s a place that I have adapted as my own," McNutt said. "It’s a place I look at and say I would love to raise my family in. With the Hawkeye support, it’s huge to come back to a place that loves Hawkeyes.”
McNutt said that life as a black man living in Cedar Rapids has been good for him, but he understands his situation is a little different because he starred on the football field at Iowa.
“People do know who I am. I get a different type of look compared to most," McNutt said. “This is why I came back, you know, to give back to the community. To give back to kids that aspire to be Hawkeyes, aspire to be NFL players.”
McNutt has a love for coaching. He spent one year as head coach for the Cedar Rapids Titans, now known as the River Kings, of the Indoor Football League. He now trains local athletes. I caught up with him over the weekend while working with a group of high school football players training at HD Elite in Cedar Rapids.
“That is the biggest passion in life to me. I feel as though I was put on this Earth to help the next generation get better," McNutt said. "For me, sports has been that guiding tool to bring together all races, all ages because of the love of the game.”
McNutt also worked with some current Iowa football players during the novel coronavirus pandemic.
“Those guys weren’t able to get in the facility, they knew I was out here training. They hit me up with a text, ‘hey, can I get out here?’ Of course! Those are little brothers to me, we can always get that work," McNutt said. "That, to me, is the greatest gift is they trust me enough to trust me with their abilities and their training, and their ability to see the field. What things I did to kind of get better, and then start using those on the field.”
McNutt still has dreams of being a Division I, or beyond, football coach someday.
“What I want to do is one day be a big part of that black head-coaching class in the NCAA, in the NFL," McNutt said. "Probably the best dream is to put on the black and gold as a wide receiver coach, as a position coach, as a head coach, as a strength conditioner. To be in the program, and to help give back to those kids, and to be a voice for those kids.”
McNutt thinks the Black Lives Matter movement will open more opportunities for him and other former black athletes to move into coaching.
“I think there will be more opportunities for a lot of black men, a lot of men of color,” McNutt said. “All sports continuing to push for equality and the black community. It’s been a huge uplift to, at least, me. But, then it’s also you’ve seen the other side where it’s gotten a little bit nasty. But, before things get better you have got to root out all the things.”
From Scott: A big thanks to Marvin for speaking his mind to help end racial disparities in the Iowa football program, and make the world understand that black lives matter.
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