Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence is one of the most recognizable players in all of college football, and he announced Sunday a five-point plan on behalf of the players for "actionable steps to create real change" when it comes to the fight against racial injustice and systemic inequities.
"We, the players, have a voice, and we will use it to drive out injustice, improve our communities and inspire future generations," he said in the statement.
The five-point plan is as follows:
"1. Ensure all of our teammates are registered to vote & have November 3rd free from athletic obligations so we all can vote.
"2. Discuss with our presidents & administrators to further raise awareness about racial injustice and create initiatives to further empower our communities
"3. Create community outreach initiatives via clothing, food, school supply, and book drives, as well as amplifying current local organizations that are benefiting communities
"4. Normalize having routine conversations about change (policing, legal rights, addressing racial injustice, etc.) between college football teams & our respective police departments, local governance, and community leaders to build trust and empathy
"5. On game days, we will use our platforms to raise awareness via wearing shirts, utilizing statements on our helmets and jerseys, and playing tribute videos to recognize victims of racial injustice & share our own stories"
In June, Lawrence, as well as teammates Darien Rencher, Cornell Powell and Mike Jones Jr., organized "A March for Change" on Clemson's campus to support the Black Lives Matter movement.
A number of college football teams have joined worldwide protests against police brutality and systemic racism that have stemmed from the police shootings and killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Jacob Blake and many others.
Alabama football players recently organized a march in the wake of the police shooting of Blake, and head coach Nick Saban joined:
While the Power Five conferences—or those that are playing amid the COVID-19 pandemic after the Big Ten and Pac-12 postponed their seasons—are yet to start their 2020 campaigns, this is another example of high-profile athletes using their platforms to fight for change this year.
Many players from the NBA and other leagues joined in the marches and protests following the police killing of Floyd, and the Milwaukee Bucks recently made national headlines when they refused to play in a postseason game against the Orlando Magic following the shooting of Blake.
That started a domino effect that saw three days of NBA playoff games postponed, some games in Major League Baseball postponed and games in Major League Soccer postponed as players raised awareness for the need for change and social justice.
Lawrence has been a major voice for college football players this offseason, as he and Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields were also among those who called for better health and safety protocols for players amid the pandemic and demanded the right to "use our voices to establish open communication and trust between players and officials; ultimately create a college football players association."