An upstate law enforcement officer called into Tiger Calls Monday night and asked Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney why Clemson University and its football program is supporting the organization, Black Lives Matter.
Below is the question and statement from the caller, then followed with Swinney’s response.
David from Easley’s question to Swinney:
“First off Coach. I would like to say I appreciate the Christian mentality you have brought to the program since you have been there. I am a life-long fan. But, with that being said, I am also an upstate law enforcement officer, and this is something that has been weighing pretty heavy on me.
“I want to know how a public university is openly supporting a group that is built predominantly on hate with this Black Lives Matter stuff?
“I think I am one of the several fans that are on the same boat with this. I just thought when the two LA County deputies got shot there were groups out protesting, ‘We hope they die.’ With some other profanities placed in there and blocking the entrance to ambulance. I just feel like it is kind of a spit in the face to law enforcement. I understand the love and unity part of it and everybody is equal under God and that is how it should be. It is ridiculous in 2020 that we ever have to say that, especially from a law enforcement perspective.
“This group is built predominately on hate and that is for all law enforcement whether you are black, white, yellow, brown, they don’t care. We have had several protests and they don’t care what color you are. I just wish, and the love and equality stickers and all of that, that is great, I just wish you guys would rethink the BLM stickers and kind of look deep into what that group is and think about the rest of your fan base, who are law-abiding-Christian-Americans.”
Dabo Swinney’s response:
“David, I appreciate your heart and sincere comments and the biggest thing I can say is … First of all, listen, my brother was a police officer for almost thirty years. I have a lot of former players that are police officers, white and black. In fact, I had a couple of them come and speak to the team. I have a great respect for law enforcement.
“I would say this, there is good and bad in everything. That’s for sure. There are good people and bad people in every walk of life, whether you are a coach, police officer, a protester, there are good protesters too. There are bad ones. We all obviously see that and wrong is wrong and hate never wins out and we have a lot of both of those going on in our country right now.
“But for our football team, this is America and everybody has the right to free speech. They have a right to choose whatever religion they want. I am Christian and I don’t make any bones about that, but not everybody is a Christian and that doesn’t mean that they are bad. I don’t judge somebody because they don’t think the way I think. I think that is one of the issues that we have. We don’t have any tolerance or respect for differences of opinion, different views anymore. There is no one around here that supports a senseless death of any kind… racism, anything that is against the police or police brutality. Nobody supports those things. Now sometimes, some individuals have their thoughts, but I think that is what makes our team great. These guys have been challenged with lots of different things. They are figuring things out. They are young people and they have to make their own decisions.
“But I am not for any of the things that have gone on as far as uniforms and all that stuff. But this is something that came about and was opened up this year, and the guys have the right to express themselves and I support them in that.
“Now whether I agree with certain things, it does not matter. This is, again, them learning and growing and figuring things out. Young people grow. Some people change. Some people think something at twenty and think something different at thirty. We have all been there. But I can tell you this, we have a united football team that definitely does not all think the same. They do not all think the same and they do not agree on everything and this and that, but they love each other. I think that is a great example for all of us.
“And, as far as people supporting hate or bad things against cops, that is crazy. Nobody supports that. There may be people out (in the world) that do, but certainly not in this camp here.”
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