Former Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd was a guest on the Russillo and Kanell Show on ESPN Radio on Wednesday, as he took up for his former head coach, who came under scrutiny for his remarks regarding a question about Colin Kaepernick’s right not to stand during the National Anthem in protest to racial injustice and police brutality.
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney responded during his weekly press conference on Tuesday by saying he would not discipline a player for standing up for what he believed in, but he did not think it was good for Kaepernick to use his team as the platform to express himself.
Swinney classified it as a “distraction” to anyone’s team and said, “Two wrongs don’t make a right” and “I just think it creates more division.”
Those remarks, plus saying he believed the world had a sin problem not a race problem, while citing Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s answer’s to the world’s problems – Love, peace, education, tolerance of others and Jesus – rubbed some the wrong way.
Swinney’s eight-minute rant trended on Twitter and was shared all over Facebook. By Wednesday morning the national media was all over it and breaking it down.
A Clemson professor called out Swinney in an open letter, especially for what he said was “positioning Dr. King as the palatable Christian alternative to unruly black protest.”
“Again, anytime you make statements, people are going to agree with them or not agree with them, and sometimes people attack you. I’m certainly not an attacking person,” Swinney said after practice on Wednesday.
Boyd definitely was not attacking his former head coach. Instead he was defending him. The Tigers’ all-time leading passer came on Russillo and Kanell to support Swinney and to try to get their listeners to understand who Swinney is as a man and as a coach.
“I didn’t know he did that, but I appreciate that,” Swinney said.
To Swinney, what matters to him are the people that know him, what’s in his heart and “what the good Lord put in my heart. Those are the things that matter to me.
“The people that know who I am, they know exactly what I meant and it did not mean anything negative or anything like that. I just answered the question,” he continued. “It’s a shame, but that is the world we live in and it comes with the territory.
“That’s just the role that I am in, but I appreciate (Boyd). I love all of my players. I love Tajh. I love my guys. I care about them and do everything I can to help them be successful. That’s never going to change.”