Trevor Lawrence stepping in as team leader at right time
|Saturday, June 13, 2020, 8:01 AM- -|
Clemson coaches wanted quarterback Trevor Lawrence to be more of a vocal leader this spring, and the rising junior gladly stepped into the role. Now that the summer is here, Lawrence is taking on an even bigger role.
Lawrence has been at the forefront of the recent controversies in our country, stepping in as one of the four leaders of today’s peaceful demonstration on Bowman Field. However, Lawrence was one of the first to post about the challenges he sees facing his teammates.
“There has to be a shift in the way of thinking," he tweeted. "Rational must outweigh irrational. Justice must outweigh injustice. Love must outweigh hate. If you put yourself in someone else’s shoes and you don’t like how it feels, that's when you know things need to change. I’m siding with my brothers that deal, and continuously deal, with things I will never experience. The injustice is clear.. and so is the hate. It can no longer be explained away. If you’re still 'explaining' it - check your heart and ask why."
Lawrence was on 105.5 THE ROAR this week, and he said he felt like it was important to speak out.
“That was just after a couple of days. That was my initial thoughts after I had a day or two to gather my thoughts,” Lawrence said. “Timing is important in things like this. I support all my guys and the team and the black community in general. I wanted to express how I felt in my own way. That's just one thing we've done to get change. It’s cool to see how we've put some things together to get change.”
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney hosted the team leaders at his house earlier this week, and Lawrence said the meeting created needed dialogue.
“It's gone really well. We've had two opportunities to do that. The seniors (and me), we were at Coach Swinney's house a few weeks ago and we had some conversation, ate some food, but then had a dialogue about everyone's experiences,” Lawrence said. “It's not just something that happens it's a disadvantage for some guys. You can't ignore it. That's where you really learn. Sit down with people you care about and learn from them. Darien for example learned about who I am too but that's the good thing. We learn from each other.”
Lawrence is a supporter of how his head coach has handled himself in a needed manner.
“In a situation like this it's hard, especially a figure like coach and being a white man,” Lawrence said. “You can't make everyone happy and you shouldn't try to. He handled it really well. The way he handled it with his team was really good. A lot of people would rather put something out quickly to gain support from outsiders but coach knows he supports us and we have his back and he made that a priority. I commend him for that.”
Lawrence said his coach has been supportive in return.
“I'll go back to the conversation we've had,” he said. “He's been big in organizing opportunities where we can do things together, we also had a team meeting two days ago. Basically the same thing but with the whole team in groups. It's important for people to have an outlet and express how they feel. People like me and other white guys on the team want to understand and learn. Coach has done a good job creating those opportunities and it has brought us closer.”
The peaceful demonstration wasn’t entered into without a lot of thought.
“It came up with, I can't remember who exactly, but we all thought about it and went back and forth,” Lawrence said. “What are the benefits, what's good, what's bad? Then we said this has to be done and it can uplift people if we do it the right way. We want to do a peaceful demonstration. We don't want violence, no craziness. Make an impact on our community. Maybe some minds will be changed.
“Yeah obviously everything is voluntary but we’re going the whole team is there, but not everyone is back on campus but if you want to come support, it would mean a lot to your black teammates and the whole community. It's going to be open to the whole community. Since I posted the picture showing that we're doing the demonstration I haven't checked social media much. But things I’ve said, there's been a lot of good and some bad. But overall people have been supportive, especially in the community and this is an opportunity for them to show their support.”