Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney was asked Tuesday to respond to his statement from his Monday night call-in show when he alluded to the fact, he does not like to mess with the Tigers’ uniforms for any reason. A belief he has had in effect since he became the head coach at Clemson in 2008.
This question began a barrage of questions from members of the press, four straight questions to be exact, during Swinney’s Tuesday press conference to preview the top-ranked Tigers’ game against Virginia Saturday at Death Valley.
Below are the questions and Swinney’s answers.
Question: When you said last night on the radio show that you are not for the social messages on the uniform, why is that something you don’t support?
Swinney: “It is not that I am not for the messages, I just think I am a very traditional guy. I came from Alabama. It is really the same reason we don’t change our uniform. It is not anything to do … it is not for the messages or whatever. I always have just not messed with uniforms. That has just kind of been my deal. That all changed this year. Guys have the opportunity to express themselves in a way for things that they believe in, the causes and so forth. So, I certainly support that. I was more talking about the uniform type stuff. That has been our policy here ever since I got the job, as far as how we do our uniforms. That is just a product of thirteen years at Alabama. I remember when they put the Nike logo (by the left shoulder) on the uniform at Alabama and you would have thought the world was coming to an end. So, that has just kind of been my mindset for a long time. You know, again, that was something that was made available this year. I certainly support our guys in that effort. So that is really what I was talking about.”
Question: So, you are okay and support the Black Lives Matter stickers and the … I know Trevor [Lawrence] and Darien [Rencher] said we will see some stuff as the season goes on, but that is something you are on board with?
Swinney: “I am on board with a lot of the messages. I am not on board with political organizations. That is a different question. I am A-political. You know? To me that is divisive. I voted democrat. I voted republican. I voted independent. I have written in people just because I did not like anybody that was running. I just wrote in somebody I liked. I have been voting since I was 18, so I am very A-political when it comes to organizations. So, I don’t really support any organization. I support common sense causes, that’s for sure.”
Question: I don’t want to assume anything here. I wanted to clarify, what does Black Lives Matter mean to you, I guess? Is that what you are suggesting as a political organization? I know this becomes very complicated and there are some gray areas that a lot of people have different ideas, so I just want to make sure I am clear about what it is that you are getting at here?
Swinney: “Yeah, I would refer back to what I said this summer. Black lives more than matter. Black lives are worthy, and they equally matter. It is no different.”
Question: So, the message Black Lives Matter is not something you consider political? If you are politicizing the messages is the thing that you would have a concern about?
Swinney: “I just don’t support political organizations. It is as simple as that, from any facet or form. Absolutely, black lives matter. That is common sense. I have lived my whole life making sure that is something … hopefully, (with) my actions, I have shown (it is) not something that I have just said.”
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