For most of the past decade, Clemson football players have signed off social media at the start of fall camp and refrained from using Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms until after the season is over.
So, typically, each year Dabo Swinney gets criticized by some in the media who misunderstand the Tigers’ social media policy and think that Clemson’s head coach forces his players to put away social media during the season. That is not the case, as Swinney has always left it up to his senior class each year to decide whether they want to have social media during the season.
Every year since the player-led initiative started in 2011 – up until this year – Clemson’s seniors had voted to suspend their use of social media for the purpose of limiting distractions and helping them stay locked in on football.
However, this year, in light of the social justice issues in the world, Clemson’s current senior class instituted a new social media policy for this season that will allow the players to remain active on social media and continue to have a voice to speak out on important issues.
“Usually every year people write bad articles because they think I created the social (media policy),” Swinney said during his press conference Tuesday. “I never created our social media policy. It’s always been about the players. I just support them, and it’s been that way for a long, long time. This year, because of all those things that everyone is dealing with, these guys felt like it was important that they changed it, and I certainly supported them in that. I have no issues with that at all.”
Swinney said the players had a meeting of their own Monday night after practice and the seniors addressed the team, now that the Tigers are into game week, about what specifically they want the policy to be.
“They’re all on the same page,” Swinney said. “But the biggest thing is they all respect the culture we have and they all believe in it and they all respect what we have to do to get ready week in and week out and understand that.”
While the Tigers will be able to speak out on social media during the season for the first time in a long time, Swinney expects his team to handle it the right way and believes it won’t be a distraction for the players.
“Our leadership, our seniors have done a great job, and they’ll continue to use their voice in ways that are important, meaningful,” Swinney said. “But definitely, they understand they light those scoreboards up for a reason, and they’re going to do everything they can to prepare to go win.”
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