Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence released a two-page statement on Twitter on behalf of college football players in which he called for "actionable steps" to be taken to affect change related to racial injustices and systemic inequities. In the statement, Lawrence laid out a five-point plan of action to be implemented. The plan centers around voting access, racial equality initiatives and community outreach opportunities.
"Over the course of the past year, our country has witnessed some of the most atrocious racial injustices against countless Black and African-American people," the statement read. "Too many have fallen victim to racial injustice and system inequities. Enough is enough. Real change must come.
"As we return to our respective campuses and most of us suit up in pads for the 2020 college football season, we realize the power we have to enact this change we, the players, have a voice, and we will use it to drive out injustice, improve our communities, and inspire the future generations."
Lawrence in the tweet used the #Change and #OurVoiceMatters. The five-point plan is as follows:
- Ensure all of our teammates are registered to vote and have Nov. 3 free from athletic obligations so we can all vote
- Discuss with our presidents and administrators to further raise awareness about racial injustice and create initiatives to further empower our communities
- Create community outreach initiatives via clothing, food, school supply, and book drives, as well as amplifying current local organizations that are benefiting communities
- Normalize having routine conversations about change (policing, legal rights, addressing racial injustice, etc.) between college football teams and our respective police departments, local governance, and community leaders to build trust and empathy
- On game days, we will use our platform to raise awareness via wearing shirts, utilizing statements on our helmets and jerseys, and playing tribute videos to recognize victims of racial injustice and share our own stories
Lawrence last month sparked a separate #WeWantToPlay movement on behalf of his fellow players in which they expressed their desire to play in the upcoming football season despite health concerns related to the pandemic. As part of the movement, the message from players and relayed by Lawrence also called for open communication and trust between players and officials, with the long-term goal being to "ultimately create a college football players association."
It shouldn't come as much of a surprise that the Tigers star has emerged as the unofficial spokesman for the college football players amidst a tumultuous offseason. He is easily one of the most recognizable figures in the sport, and one of the most talented, too. CBS Sports' RJ White projects he'll be the No. 1 pick in the 2021 NFL Draft, and odds from William Hill Sportsbook have him as one of the frontrunners (among those playing football this fall) to win the Heisman Trophy this season.