College Football Players Lead Drive to Stay on the Field
This is happening as the season threatens to topple
College football players, including Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence and Ohio State’s Justin Fields, spoke forcefully Sunday night, stating that the fall football season should be saved and urging players to unite in a players’ union. Their calls to move forward with the season were echoed Monday by President Trump, congressmen and some prominent programs, even as momentum seemed to tilt toward cancellation.
The leaders of college sports reportedly will determine the fate of the football season this week after Connecticut became the first of the 130 Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) programs to cancel its 2020 season over concerns about the coronaviruspandemic. The Mid-American Conference followed on Saturday, becoming the first conference in the top-tier FBS to do so. Against that backdrop, the message from players highlighted one of the unforeseen residual effects of the pandemic: college football players accessing their untapped reservoir of power. It began with a unity group from the Pac-12, which last week expressed concerns about the pandemic as well as players’ rights in a statement similar to the national statement.
On Sunday night, players shared a social media message that arose from a Zoom meeting and featured #WeWantToPlay and #WeAreUnited hashtags. Lawrence, a quarterback who is projected to be the top pick in the 2021 NFL draft, believes players are less likely to catch the virus on campus than at home.
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