As news started to spread Saturday that the 2020 college football season is on life support, Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence took to Twitter and did his part to plea to the Power 5 Conferences and the others to hear what he wants.
For weeks now, the national media has flooded the headlines with the few players who have opted out of the season due to their personal concerns about playing football during the COVID-19 pandemic. And though those numbers seem like a lot, actually they don’t even compare to the thousands and thousands of college football players who do want to play in 2020.
Finally, the silent majority has had enough.
With the Mid-American Conference (MAC) announcing Saturday it will not play college football in the fall, it started a whirlwind of news as reports began surfacing that the Big Ten Presidents were meeting to discuss the season and that “all options were on the table.”
Soon other reports came out saying some Power 5 athletic directors said that cancelling the 2020 season was “inevitable.”
That is when Lawrence had enough.
“I don’t know about y’all, but we want to play,” the Clemson quarterback wrote on Twitter Saturday night.
Lawrence is the first major college player to speak up and express his feelings regarding what the majority of the college players want. They want to play football this fall.
What makes Lawrence’s news so big is that by playing during a global pandemic he stands more to lose than any of the other players who have already opted out of the 2020 season or are threatening to boycott if certain demands are not met.
Lawrence is considered by many to be the No. 1 overall pick in next year’s NFL Draft. He stands to gain nothing this season by playing, and instead risks injury or catching a virus that no one knows what the lingering effects might be.
However, none of that matters to Lawrence. He wants to play college football in 2020 and he is asking all the conferences to please listen to his and the other silent majority of players’ pleas.
Lawrence’s teammates jumped in and supported their quarterback. Senior James Skalski followed up Lawrence’s tweet with his own, saying, “We want to play.”
Fellow Clemson linebacker Mikes Jones said, “Corona really trying to ruin my bag year. I wanna play!”
Senior safety Nolan Turner said, “Spot the ball!”
And senior running back Darien Rencher used the hashtag “LetUsPlay” after he said, “If you told me I could only get COVID playing football, then that’s a no brainer to not play. But the fact is that we can get COVID being anywhere doing anything, and if we cancel the season it’s still going to be here after.”
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March, the suggestions and speculation ratcheted up in the media, as many thought Lawrence should opt out of the 2020 season.
“This is about, like I said, playing football,” Lawrence said after Friday’s practice. “I don’t want to give up that opportunity to play another year here at Clemson. I love it here. I met some of my best friends, coaches, everyone. It is just a family. I am really excited to have at least one more year here. I was not ready to give that up.”
Since the pandemic began in March, Lawrence said every player has probably thought about opting out, their safety and what was in the best interest of them and their family. But Lawrence said since he made the decision to play this year, he has not thought about it again.
“That is my decision. I am committed,” he said. “I want to play my last year here. If that is what I decide to do. It is my third year and I even have another one. I think people forget, I have four years, so I am just ready to have a great year and be a part of this team.
“We are super pumped. Like I said, me and Travis [Etienne] are definitely here, and we are committed to playing. But that is the thing. Once I have decided I am playing, my mind is off of that.”
Lawrence has heard all the people in the media say he should sit out this season and how some even said it after his freshman year, but he says it all comes down to each individual.
“At some point, you have to make decisions for yourself. I am just excited to play football. That is what I do and that is what I love to do,” he said.
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