Trevor Lawrence Faces Backlash for Saying He Doesn’t Have a Chip on His Shoulder

Trevor Lawrence
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Former Clemson quarterback and presumed #1 overall draft pick Trevor Lawrence is a nice, well-adjusted young man. And that makes Twitter very angry.

In a recent interview with Sports Illustrated, Lawrence said that he doesn’t need football for his “life to be O.K.” The Heisman winner and former national champion also said that he doesn’t play the game with a “huge chip” on his shoulder.

“It’s hard to explain that because I want people to know that I’m passionate about what I do and it’s really important to me, but . . . I don’t have this huge chip on my shoulder that everyone’s out to get me, and I’m trying to prove everybody wrong,” [Lawrence] says. “I just don’t have that. I can’t manufacture that. I don’t want to.” Marissa [Lawrence’s wife] adds, “There’s also more in life than playing football.

“Yeah,” Trevor says. “And I think people mistake that for being a competitor. . . . I think that’s unhealthy to a certain extent, just always thinking that you’ve got to prove somebody wrong, you’ve got to do more, you’ve got to be better.”

Lawrence’s honesty and sense of peace and balance in the world was greeted with all the hysteria one might expect from the least peaceful and balanced place in the world, social media.

The backlash was so great that Lawrence felt the need to respond.

True, Lawrence’s comments hardly represent the “win at all costs” mentality that the American sports fan has come to expect from the American athlete. Much of what fans have come to expect from their athletes presents as a mentally imbalanced and maniacal focus. Fueled by tales of Michael Jordan’s endless practicing and drive to win at everything from basketball to ping-pong.

While that singular focus clearly worked for Jordan (though, based on his Hall of Fame induction speech and other incidents, there are legitimate questions about whether Jordan is a happy person), it doesn’t work for Lawrence.

More interesting, though, isn’t what Lawrence actually said, but the reaction to what he said.

Hearing that someone can win a Heisman Trophy, a national championship, and become the presumed first overall pick in the draft without becoming a crazed lunatic, should come as an immense relief to everyone.

But it didn’t, for many. Why?

Lawrence’s inner peace, no doubt fueled largely by his abiding faith in God, presents itself at a time when record numbers of people have turned away from public professions of faith. Though Lawrence doesn’t specifically cite his faith as the “more to life than football” part of his global outlook, it’s recognizable to anyone familiar with people of faith and familiar with Lawrence’s strong Christian roots.

Roots that were on display in 2019 after he helped lead Clemson to an incredible come-from-behind victory against Ohio State. Roots that were on display when he reminded an ESPN reporter that “God can do immeasurably more than any of us…”

“Just the fight of this team — didn’t play great, didn’t look pretty, but [we] just find a way to get it done. I wouldn’t want to do this with anyone else,” he told the ESPN reporter. “I have Ephesians 3:20, and it says, ‘God can do immeasurably more than any of us can because of Him within us.’ And that’s just so true. I mean, all of us, me, what we did tonight, it ain’t us. It’s about this program and who we are.”

And there it is.

Lawrence doesn’t need to play with a “chip” on his shoulder or spend 23 out of 24 hours throwing a football because he knows he’s not in this fight alone. He’s fueled by higher powers that are far more powerful than he is.

And that’s not controversial; that’s the best greatest news you could hope to hear.

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