Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, wide receiver Cornell Powell, running back Darien Rencher and linebacker Mike Jones Jr. are heading a protest on Saturday to promote racial equality following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last month. ESPN reported on Thursday that the event has been in the works for several weeks, and that Jones has been gathering masks and bottled water for several weeks in preparation for the event.
"How can we change if somebody doesn't know how that made you feel, making them feel you?" Jones said in a video posted on Instagram (18:00 mark). "That's the reason we're going to change things. So many people are voicing how they feel, and it was something people never cared to know -- or maybe just didn't know."
Lawrence announced the specific plans for the protest on Twitter on Thursday.
Lawrence got the ball rolling for the players to make their opinions known with a tweet from May 29.
"There has to be a shift in the way of thinking," he wrote. "Rational must outweigh irrational. Justice must outweigh injustice. Love must outweigh hate. If you put yourself in someone else's shoes and you don't like how it feels-that's when you know things need to change."
The protest comes just a few days after former Clemson players Deshaun Watson and DeAndre Hopkins joined a movement to remove John C. Calhoun's name from the school's honors college.
Clemson's program has been in the spotlight over the last few weeks. Specifically, coach Dabo Swinney has taken some criticism for his slow response to the protests that have taken place around the country. Swinney issued a statement earlier this week addressing the racial tensions.
"This is a historic time in our world and in our country, and as a coach and as a team, we will do our part to create positive change against racism of any kind, social injustice and police brutality," Swinney said. "I always have believed that actions are a lot louder than words, and I love our team for the actions that they have already taken with a great town hall meeting and lots of communication in our position meetings. We had a wonderful senior meeting last week with just great discussion and it was just awesome to see and hear our young men speak, and just wonderful brotherly love. We've got a team meeting coming up and many other things, so I'm proud of the actions that our guys have already taken."
The protest is set for 6 p.m. on Saturday at Bowman Field.