President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump criticizes Justice for restoring McCabe's benefits Biden: Those who defy Jan. 6 subpoenas should be prosecuted Hillicon Valley — Presented by LookingGlass — Hackers are making big money MORE said Saturday that Clemson University quarterback Trevor Lawrence told him that players do not want to see the football season cancelled or postponed, after two major athletic conferences have done so already amid the coronavirus pandemic.
During a press conference held at Trump's Bedminster, N.J., golf club on Saturday, the president said that he had spoken to Lawrence on the phone, adding that the star quarterback is ready to get back on the playing field.
"He said, 'Sir, I want to just tell you we want it back, we want to play.' He's an incredible quarterback from an incredible school, Clemson. And he's going to have a very good future in the NFL,” Trump said the press conference.
"He made the statement that he feels he's safer on the field than he is outside of the field,” Trump added.
President Trump: "What the NBA did was atrocious -- I thought it was disgraceful the way they kneel." pic.twitter.com/Tij5BHxvYi— The Hill (@thehill) August 15, 2020
At an event on reopening schools on Wednesday, Trump also said that he had spoken with Lawrence, urging conferences to “let ’em play."
“I want college football to come back. These are strong, healthy, incredible people. These are people that want to play football very badly," Trump said Saturday evening.
Trump and other Republicans have pushed for the season to start as scheduled in just a few weeks, throwing their support behind a campaign from prominent players and coaches who have argued it may be safer for college athletes to be on campus with university testing resources than back at home.
Several major conferences, such as the Big Ten and Pac-12 have already postponed their fall athletic seasons to the spring. The three other Power Five conferences — the Southeastern Conference (SEC), Big 12 and Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) — are still holding out hope for a fall football season.
Clemson is part of the ACC.
The president also said Saturday that he supports the NFL continuing their season this fall as well "as long as they stand for our national anthem," referring to the kneeling protests against racial inequality that began with former San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick during the 2016 season.
"If they start kneeling I'm not going to be helping them much," Trump said. "It might come back but I won't be watching."
Trump added during the press conference Saturday that it was "atrocious" that NBA teams kneeled during their season opening in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.