Trevor Lawrence sparks united #WeWantToPlay movement as 2020 season hangs in balance

Author: CBS Sports
Published: Updated:
Clemson Tigers quarterback Trevor Lawrence celebrates after Tigers defeated the Alabama Crimson Tide in the 2019 College Football Playoff Championship game at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California

The 2020 college football season appears to be crumbling before our very eyes amid the coronavirus pandemic. Power Five conference commissioners held a meeting Sunday to address the viability of playing football in the fall, and there will be another meeting Monday, CBS Sports’ Dennis Dodd reported. Some Power Five conferences appear to be leaning toward not playing this fall, perhaps with the hopes of postponing the season until the spring.

That led some of college football’s biggest stars to speak up Sunday in an effort to save the season, channeling the NFL players’ #WeWantToPlay movement. Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence explained his position in a three-post Twitter thread that kicked off a round of tweets from others stars following in his footsteps. By midnight, #WeWantToPlay joined with #WeAreUnited in a call to not only play college football in the fall but do so safely while ultimately creating a college football players association.

“People are at just as much, if not more risk, if we don’t play,” the junior signal-caller wrote earlier Sunday. “Players will all be sent home to their own communities where social distancing is highly unlikely and medical care and expenses will be placed on the families if they were to contract COVID-19. Not to mention the players coming from situations that are not good for them/ their future and having to go back to that. Football is a safe haven for so many people.

“We are more likely to get the virus in everyday life than playing football. Having a season also incentivizes players being safe and taking all of the right precautions to try to avoid contracting covid because the season/ teammates safety is on the line. Without the season, as we’ve seen already, people will not social distance or wear masks and take the proper precautions.”

The game’s other monster star, Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields, added his thoughts as well. Fields later tweeted the #WeAreUnited X #WeWantToPlay graphic, as did a number of other college football players in a midnight tweetstorm that trended No. 1 in the United States.

Florida running back Lorenzo Lingard will live in a bubble if he can.

While the Big Ten is reportedly the conference that may start the domino effect among the Power Five leagues, its players and their parents aren’t exactly thrilled about the idea of postponing the season. Dr. Corey Teague, father of Ohio State star running back Master Teague, tweeted a letter on behalf of the Football Parents Association at Ohio State (FPAOS).

“As parents, we strongly believe. our sons want to play the upcoming season and have the full trust of the university and coaching staff long with medical experts have found a safe way for that to occur,” the letter said. “We believe that this age group represents some of the healthiest individuals, while we recognize the risk can’t be eliminated, we believe the risk is minimal and the season can safely and responsibly occur.”

Players from the Big Ten and Pac-12 have already formed groups to demand reforms to benefit the health, well-being and financial stability of student-athletes. That is just the latest item in a offseason that has shown players that they have the ability to enact change and make their voices heard on a variety of issues. If they’re successful, the members of the #WeWantToPlay movement could be seen as the people who saved the college football season.

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