Trevor Lawrence Breaks Twitter: Making Sense of It All
It’s 12:30 a.m. and Trevor Lawrence just broke Twitter.
While I was lying in bed trying and failing to fall asleep, the face of college football redefined athletes’ platforms with the following tweet:
Eight minutes later, the Clemson star QB was joined by Ohio State’s Justin Fields in tweeting the same message.
And what exactly is that message? The players want to play. And they want to play now.
As college football has unraveled over the weekend, with the MAC and FCS postponing their fall seasons to the spring, the writing appeared to be on the wall for the sport’s fate.
An emergency meeting that became not an emergency meeting was held between the Power Five commissioners, and nothing but bleak reporting emerged as a result.
All the while, Lawrence and his fellow Tigers were blowing up Twitter with their desire to play football this year.
I don’t know about y’all, but we want to play.— Trevor Lawrence (@Trevorlawrencee) August 8, 2020
However, even the most optimistic fans had to doubt Lawrence’s words would carry any weight.
No matter what your opinion may be of it, the amateur model in college sports has severely limited an athlete’s influence. Until now.
Lawrence, Fields and every other athlete tweeting out these messages is not just expressing a desire to play; they want their voices to carry weight. Permanently.
What is most miraculous about this message is the unity displayed in the graphic.
We see logos from every Power Five conference, giving way to assume that Lawrence and Fields collaborated with players from each conference.
When a group of players from the Pac-12 formed a coalition expressing demands for safer protocols and stronger protection, their voices carried weight. However, what they truly needed was players from other conferences to join in with them.
That’s where Lawrence and Co. stepped in.
I’ll be honest, I have no idea how that graphic came to be made. Is there a giant Power Five players’ GroupMe? Who knows.
Regardless, when the future of the sport was threatened, these players stepped up.
We are in a time where an athlete’s voice means more now than ever.
When the NBA’s return was in doubt, a group of the league’s best players met together and presented a unified case to the front office.
When the MLB was ready to shut everything down before it even began, the best baseball players in the world pushed the league towards a season on Twitter.
Now, college football’s best are attempting to do the same thing. And not just for this one case; they want to be heard for years to come.
The players are calling for a College Football Players Association, with representatives from all Power Five conferences.
Whatever your take is on the nuances of college athletes’ amateur status, it seems fair that the players at least have a chance to speak their mind on the state of their sport. And not just on Twitter, either.
This has the chance to be a game-changer for the sport we love. A group of players advocating for themselves and their peers directly to the NCAA and conferences could make a world of difference.
Players could let it be known what rules they want in place and how they think their school's money should be divided.
Whether their ideas are good or bad, there are intelligent, respectful and forward-thinking young men on those football teams. They deserve a chance to at least offer their opinions.
All along, the idea behind postponing the season has been to protect players and coaches. There is merit to that, but when the players are so uniformly pleading for football to be played anyway, their voices need to be heard.
I truly believe tonight is a night that will live in infamy in college sports.
This will either be the night college football players were given an equal voice or the night they were blatantly ignored.
Your move, NCAA.