Trevor Lawrence 'Not a Civil Rights Activist,' But Clemson QB Pursuing Change

Brad Senkiw

Trevor Lawrence says he's no activist, but the Clemson junior quarterback is using his platform to spark change in his community and throughout college football. 

Lawrence has been at the forefront of supporting his teammates in the Black Lives Matter movement as well as being the focal point of a collaboration of college athletes looking to promote a five-part plan of action and awareness this fall.  

This has all become a passion for him, just as taking snaps and throwing touchdowns has been the last two seasons. 

"I'm not a civil rights activist or an activist in general, but I just think we all carry a responsibility based on who you are and what your platform is," Lawrence said Tuesday. "It's different for everyone. For the love of my teammates, for my friends, family, everyone I know, I think it's part of my responsibility to try to help any way I can."

Lawrence said he's been working with college football players all over the country to "create change." This latest movement is "nothing controversial," but it's promoting voting, registering to vote and improving local communities with the hope of that leading to impacts felt nation-wide. 

"Through all this, we've tried to just say, 'I know we have some differences, but let's try to find some things we all agree on,' and how do we start change from there," Lawrence said. "I think it's powerful that we've been able to make decisions pretty quickly as a group from all over the country to make things happen. That's where you have to start, is to find common ground and understand people's differences, but leave room for people to learn and change their mind and maybe say, 'I thought this way before, but I've kind of changed my mind.'"

Lawrence said it's not about pressuring people. He genuinely wants to educate folks on the things he's learned growing up in a small Georgia town and now relating to his black teammates who have gone through experiences he never has. 

Lawrence was one of several Clemson players who orchestrated a peaceful demonstration earlier this summer to raise awareness for social injustice. He's spoken out on social media in support of his teammates and led a charge to play football this fall despite the COVID-19 pandemic. It's been an offseason where one of college football's most recognizable names found his voice.

"I know there's a lot of eyes on me, critics, but also younger generations, people looking up to me, so I'm conscious of that. I want to use my platform the right way and try to impact people," Lawrence said. "I'm not an activist of any sorts, but I do think I have a responsibility to promote equality and help the people I love."

Comments (1)
No. 1-1
Christopher Hall
Christopher Hall

I've been impressed with the maturity, focus, and leadership of Lawrence this summer. Seems like he really "gets it" and isn't afraid to stand up for what he believes in but also be clear about his motives.