Trevor Lawrence doesn’t care about what you think about what he says, unless he does

Trevor Lawrence is getting a crash course in media relations, thanks to his recent remarks to the media.

Lawrence’s comments to Sports Illustrated created a stir, because he said that he isn’t motivated to prove people wrong, and that he doesn’t believe everyone is out to get him.

“I can’t manufacture that,” he said. “I don’t want to.”

Apparently, a little of that has emerged naturally, as it relates to the reaction to his comments to Sports Illustrated.

“A little bit but at the same time no,” Lawrence told Sean Gregory of TIME on the question of whether the soon-to-be Jaguar was surprised by the criticism. “It’s just kind of the way things are now. It’s just what can people find to get mad about, to criticize?”

The reaction prompted Lawrence to clarify his comments on Twitter. “If people still want to have an opinion on the way I think and the way I live, I don’t really care,” he told Gregory.

But if Lawrence truly didn’t care, he wouldn’t have felt compelled to clarify what he said in the first place. And he definitely cares enough about the reaction that he now may be more careful about what he says in the future.

“[I]f you don’t want a reaction, just don’t say anything,” Lawrence said. “Or talk to anyone. That’s really the answer. Because no matter what you say, you could say it the perfect way, there’s always going to be something. So I think that’s the learning lesson for sure.”

That’s not the learning lesson. The learning lesson is to understand which comments will generate criticism, and which comments won’t. When the incoming No. 1 overall pick suggests it’s not healthy for superior athletes to be motivated by external criticism given the examples set by the likes of Tom Brady (who’s still pissed about falling to round six before Lawrence could walk) and Michael Jordan (who’s self-motivational tactics included manufacturing disses that didn’t happen), people will react. Why would Lawrence think they wouldn’t?

He can act like it’s the media fault, that we’re just looking for clicks or whatever. The truth is that he drove an easy forehand winner right into the bottom of the net. If his proposed solution is to throw away his tennis racket, well, he’ll soon learn that the NFL requires him to play — at least twice per week.