According to a report from Matt Baker of the Tampa Bay Times, Jim McElwain’s emails were void of any death threats, but instead showed messages of support and compassion from Gator fans.
McElwain, who was fired for cause on Oct. 29, claimed earlier in October that he and other members of the Florida program received death threats in the midst of a disappointing season. After refusing to turn over proof and after the Gators were trounced 42-7 by rival Georgia, McElwain was let go.
But McElwain’s emails tell a different story. Baker says he found no evidence of death threats after receiving his emails through a public records act. Instead, he received positive messages from fans and even from Florida Gulf Coast President Mike Martin.
One email, from fan Charles Carver, read like this:
“ I’ve never written to a UF coach before, but I feel the need to let you know my wife and I are behind you and the team 100%. Unfortunately, the advent of the internet gives every naysayer a public venue to express their negative opinions, sometimes in a way that is surely hurtful to you, your staff and the players. Sadly, their opinions often seem to be the norm… I want you and the team to know there is a silent majority of fans who support and stick with the Gators through all kinds of weather. We don’t like losing, but we know no one dislikes it more than you and the team. … So, when you or a player hears or reads the rantings of a naysayer, remember that for every naysayer there are hundreds of “silent” Gators fans who support you and root for the Gators, win or lose.”
You can read the rest of the emails here.
Just because McElwain didn’t receive threats via email doesn’t mean they never happened, but it does show a positive side to the Florida fan base.
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