South Carolina football: new movement trending on social media regarding 2020 season

Ryan Hilinski #3 of the South Carolina Gamecocks. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Ryan Hilinski #3 of the South Carolina Gamecocks. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /

Some notable South Carolina football players have grabbed hold of the #WeWantToPlay movement that’s been trending on social media over the last 24 hours.

The MAC’s recent decision to cancel its college football season has created even more turbulence in an already uncertain sports landscape. As the 2020 season inches closer, fans and players alike have received mixed signals on whether or not there will be fall competition this year.

Things seemed to be trending in the right direction, as Power Five conferences began updating and releasing schedules last week, but that momentum came to a halt with the MAC’s announcement. Following the league’s decision to cancel the 2020 season, reports and rumors began swirling around the Big 10, PAC 12, and other Power Five conferences having second thoughts, too.

Those rumors have been met with backlash from some notable college student-athletes, as they’ve come together with a common hashtag, #WeWantToPlay, to show support of continuing on with a fall football season.

Gamecocks Ryan Hilinski, Dakereon Joyner, and Mohamed Kaba, amongst others, were sharing this message on Twitter Sunday night. The reasoning behind the movement?

Obviously, players want to play the game the have fallen in love with. But it goes much deeper than that.

Safety has always been the number one issue, and that hasn’t changed. Hilinski, for example, posted a graphic with his #WeWantToPlay message highlighting the need for proper testing protocols and opt out opportunities for players that don’t feel comfortable competing this year.

He also called for the creation of a players’ association to establish trust and communication between student-athletes and NCAA officials. He, and others within the sport, want to ensure that the season can be played this fall, but not at the expense of student-athlete health.

Archrival Clemson also had some players in support, most notably, quarterback Trevor Lawrence. He noted that should the season be cancelled, these same football players being put in “unsafe” conditions on campus will be forced to go back to homes where COVID protocols are not nearly as prevalent, and where social distancing and constant testing are not as likely.

Again, safety has always been the number one issue surrounding the Coronavirus pandemic, but is cancelling the football season really the key to keeping student-athletes safe? These players don’t think so. Time will tell if their voices will be heard or if the NCAA and Power Five conference officials will pull the plug on the year before it begins.

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