President Trump is joining college football players, coaches, staff and fans around the country who want the 2020 season to be played despite the obstacles presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.
After presidents of college football’s Big Ten conference held a meeting on Saturday to discuss the possibility of cancelling the upcoming season, dozens of top players issued a joint statement on Sunday.
Fox Sports‘ Clay Travis described the situation on Twitter, writing, “Wild night in college football. The Big Ten presidents are trying to use their allies in the sports media to cancel college sports, but college athletes are fighting back — football players in particular — in a massive battle royale.”
Wild night in college football. The Big Ten presidents are trying to use their allies in the sports media to cancel college sports, but college athletes are fighting back — football players in particular — in a massive battle royale.
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) August 10, 2020
Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence, a Heisman favorite and likely number 1 pick in the next NFL draft, tweeted out the joint statement, which reads, “We all want to play football this season.”
The statement called for “universal health and safety procedures and protocols to protect college-athletes against COVID-19,” and an option for players to opt-out of the season.
The message also asked that players are guaranteed eligibility whether they decide to play the 2020 season or not.
The declaration ultimately asks for an association of players to be created to represent the power 5 conferences.
— Trevor Lawrence (@Trevorlawrencee) August 10, 2020
President Trump retweeted Lawrence on Monday, saying, “The student-athletes have been working too hard for their season to be cancelled.”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 10, 2020
White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany was asked about Trump’s tweet during a Monday press conference and she explained, “He very much would like to see college football safely resume their sport. As he mentioned in the tweet, these college athletes work their whole lives for this moment and he’s like to see them have a chance to live out their dreams.”
“These college athletes work their whole lives for this moment and he would like to see them have a chance to live out their dreams.”
— Benny (@bennyjohnson) August 10, 2020
Republican Senator Marco Rubio (Fl) tweeted out a graph showing the percentages for COVID hospitalizations and deaths among Floridians age 15-24.
“79,584 people between 15-24 tested positive in #Florida:” he wrote, “0.95% of them were hospitalized – 0.026% of them died. Risk from being away from school & sports far greater than risk from #COVID19. Answer is to lower their risk of infection & protect their loved ones at high risk.”
79,584 people between 15-24 tested positive in #Florida:
-0.95% of them were hospitalized
-0.026% of them died
Risk from being away from school & sports far greater than risk from #COVID19
Answer is to lower their risk of infection & protect their loved ones at high risk pic.twitter.com/L05nmrYg1J
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) August 10, 2020
Dr. David Samadi, MD, a NewsMax contributor and former member of the Fox News medical team, wrote, “College athletes are among the lowest risk for COVID-19. They have access to the best doctors , trainers and diets in the world. With proper safety protocols, there is no reason they can’t play. We cannot allow our great American pastimes to be stifled.”
College athletes are among the lowest risk for COVID-19.
They have access to the best doctors , trainers and diets in the world.
With proper safety protocols, there is no reason they can’t play.
We cannot allow our great American pastimes to be stifled. #WeWantToPlay
— Dr. David Samadi, MD (@drdavidsamadi) August 10, 2020
Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh came out with a powerful statement on Monday, explaining he’s “not advocating for football this fall because of my passion or our players’ desire to play but because of the facts accumulated over the last eight weeks since our players returned to campus on June 13.”
Over the last eight weeks of practice, Michigan has found zero positive COVID test results out of 353 administered to coaches, players and staff.
The coach ended his statement by quoting Theodore Roosevelt in saying, “We do this so that our place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
Letter from Jim Harbaugh on wanting to play the season and why he thinks it can happen. pic.twitter.com/wUlf8q4vYr
— Chris Vannini (@ChrisVannini) August 10, 2020
Countless head coaches, players, athletic directors and others have voiced their support for the hashtag on Twitter as seen below.
I’m fully aware of the risks I’m taking to play in the fall. I’m completely fine taking those risks. #WeWantToPlay
— Creed Humphrey (@creed_humphrey) August 10, 2020
We NEED football, the country NEEDS football! We understand the precautions we have to take every single day for this to happen and we are more than willing to do that. There’s been too much hard work put in to bring everything to a hault. #WeWantToPlay !!!
— Spencer Rattler (@SpencerRattler) August 10, 2020
Love the work ethic of @AggieFootball Despite the some uncertainty, they continue to stay focused on their craft & passion for the game of football. We are supporting them at the highest level in all facets of their health & safety. #WeWantToPlay pic.twitter.com/d1kzaYjiWu
— Ross Bjork (@RossBjorkAD) August 10, 2020
I met with the leaders of our team today & the response was unanimous, #WeWantToPlay.
The work they have put in on the field & to follow all of the safety protocols must be commended.
They deserve the chance to see their work payoff with a season; I stand with & support them. pic.twitter.com/r1XWfpNn7l
— Chip Lindsey (@CLindsey_TROY) August 10, 2020
You wanna have students on campus but no football? There is no safer place on campus than our football facility , especially when students come back. #WeWantToPlay
— Miller Forristall (@mcforristall) August 10, 2020
Coach Harbaugh and the staff have implemented the best possible protocols in order for us to stay healthy. The results support my claim. The athletes deserve a voice in this life-changing decision regarding the season. #WEWANTTOPLAY
— Aidan Hutchinson (@aidanhutch97) August 10, 2020
No one understands all we put in. Since January, 3 Mat drills in 3 straight days, sent home for months and built a weight room with my dad, countless hours of work with my teammates all year round. Too much has been invested. Don’t know what else to say other then #WeWantToPlay
— Ruck (@Jeremy_Ruckert1) August 10, 2020
Nothing has changed, so why shut it down now? It is apparent that this is less about the health & safety of us and more about maintaining a grip and control over the voices of players and coaches. We will be heard. We are not spoken for. #WeWantToPlay
— dan (@Danny_Vanatsky) August 10, 2020
The decision to play should be made by COACHES and PLAYERS #WeWantToPlay
— Noah Potter (@noah_potter10) August 10, 2020
— Jamey Chadwell (@CoachChadwell) August 10, 2020
We have been preparing for this upcoming season since a week after our bowl game. We’ve shed blood, sweat, and tears for this upcoming season. We want to play. #WeWantToPlay
— Byron Young (@ByronYoung19) August 10, 2020
— Wan’Dale Robinson (@wanda1erobinson) August 10, 2020
— Matt Finkes (@MattFinkes) August 10, 2020
— Xavier Spencer (@_Xavier_Spencer) August 10, 2020
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