College football players from across the country united in an attempt to save a season being threatened by the pandemic and ensure they won't be left out of the big decisions anymore.
Monday morning, it appeared President Donald Trump endorsed the players' movement. The tweet came shortly after reportsthe Big Ten Conference had voted to cancel their fall season, however that has not been confirmed by the conference.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 10, 2020
A day after the Mid-American Conference became the first of the major college football leagues to cancel the fall season, Power Five conference commissioners met Sunday, and continue to have talks Monday.
They discussed mounting concerns about whether a season can be safely conducted with the pandemic still not under control in the United States.
After Clemson star Trevor Lawrencesparked a movement by tweeting “we want to play,” he was contacted by a player activist from Michigan and in a couple hours #WeWantToPlay was merged with #WeAreUnited.
The #WeAreUnited hashtag was used a week ago by a group of Pac-12 players in announcing a movement they say has the support of hundreds of peers within their conference. They have threatened mass opt-outs by players if concerns about COVID-19 protocols, racial injustice in college sports and economic rights for athletes are not addressed.
Not only do they want to play, but they want to create a players association for college football.
Under the logos of each Power Five conference — ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC — the players pronounced their platform:
—We all want to play football this season.
—Establish universal mandated health & safety procedures and protocols to protect college athletes against COVID-19 among all conferences throughout the NCAA.
—Give players the opportunity to opt out and respect their decision.
—Guarantee eligibility whether a player chooses to play the season or not.
—Use our voices to establish open communication and trust between players and officials: Ultimately create a College Football Players Association.
University of Michigan Head football coach Jim Harbaugh released a statement Monday morning stating he was in favor of having a fall season.
He cited coronavirus test results from the University of Michigan over the last eight weeks; including zero positive tests of coaches or staff over that time frame, and zero positive tests out of the last 353 administered, according to Harbaugh.
"It is proven that the conduct, discipline and structure within our program have led to these stellar results. We respect the challenge that the virus has presented however we will not cower from it," Harbaugh writes in his statement.