Dabo Swinney said the tweets that surfaced on Twitter this Saturday were an attack on his character and it was just sad.
It all started when former Clemson walk-on Haamid Williams accused Swinney of saying a racial slur while giving a tour of the Clemson football facility to a potential new coach. Saturday evening a second tweet appeared by what was supposed to be an “Oklahoma Football fan” posing for a picture with Swinney, who was wearing a black t-shirt that said “Football Matters” in white letters.
The tweet was retweeted by a couple of national writers, as well as others, along with their comments on the matter. The tweet has since been removed from Twitter and the poster as since taken down his account.
Swinney addressed both matters Monday evening in a video posted on ClemsonTigers.com and on Clemson Football’s official Twitter account, as well as Clemson’s other social media platforms.
The Clemson head coach said he was given the “Football Matters” T-shirt a couple of years ago by the National Football Foundation. It is a slogan they have used since 2014. Swinney admitted the picture was real, though he did not say when the picture was taken.
“I will just say that any insinuation that I was trying to mock the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement, it’s just an attack on my character. It is just an attack on my character and is really sad,” he said. “But I also will say, I wholeheartedly support Black Lives Matter. In fact, I don’t think that is quite adequate enough. I think black lives significantly and equally matter. To me, Black Lives Matter is like, ‘Hey, we matter, too.’ I think black lives significantly and equally matter.
“God loves us all. None of us are better than anybody else. It does not matter what the color of our skin is, where we are born or any of that stuff. In the eyes of God, we are all equal. We are all first-team and we are all five stars. We all have an eternal contract. That is what I believe.”
As for what Williams’ accused him of, Swinney claims the accusation is false, which was backed up on Twitter Sunday by former Clemson tight end Brandon Ford, who responded to Williams tweet and called it “false” as well.
“I was actually hiring Mike Reed, who is now my DBs coach. And has been since 2012,” Swinney explained. “We were touring around, and we were down there by the locker room and there was really loud music blaring and literally every other word was the n-word. And it was disappointing, and I was embarrassed, especially with Coach Reed, walking him around. So, we had a team meeting, and what was said this week was absolutely false. In fact, the player who was playing the music [Ford], he called me and said, ‘Coach, this is crazy. This is an absolute lie.’ And I said, ‘I know.’
“Anyway, I stood before the team, as I always do, and said guys, ‘I do not want to hear that word. I am trying to walk a coach around and I am hearing the n-word over and over and over.’ Never did I repeat that word.”
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