A rough last few days for Dabo Swinney and the Clemson football program continues.
As college coaches across the country were speaking out in the wake of George Floyd‘s murder, Swinney, one of the most powerful head coaches in the nation, was criticized for staying silent as long as he did. Tuesday, longtime Tigers assistant coach Danny Pearman apologized for repeating “a racial slur I overheard when trying to stop the word from being used on the practice field” three years ago. Ex-Clemson offensive tackle Shaquille Anthony subsequently stated that he was disappointed Swinney didn’t address the controversy involving his assistant.
Overnight, another former Clemson football player, running back Haamid Williams, alleged that Swinney used the N-word in chastising his players’ choice of music.
Dabo walked into the meeting room and said "i don't want to walk in the locker room with guests/future coaches hearing nigga this nigga that in our house". Some people just walked out of the team meeting room because they didn't want to hear his shit
— Haamid Williams (@HWill39) June 6, 2020
Williams went on to state that he “kind of feel[s] bad for talking about Dabo, but I was told by multiple people he talked [sh t] about me in a team meeting the year after I was no longer on the team.” Williams came to Clemson as a walk-on in 2012 played in two games the following season.
But wait, there’s more.
Earlier Saturday, a photo was making the rounds across Twitter that showed Dabo Swinney wearing a “Football Matters” t-shirt. The coach was criticized for the timing of the attire, with some seeing it as a not-so-subtle shot at the “Black Lives Matter” movement.
It appears the tweet was deleted. Here you go. pic.twitter.com/wwcuEWZ8dh
— Elika Sadeghi (@elikasadeghi) June 6, 2020
“Coach Swinney’s shirt, in any way, is not mocking the Black Lives Matter movement,” the star quarterback wrote in a tweet. “He has been wearing the shirt for months in meetings.”
Coach Swinney’s shirt, in any way, is not mocking the Black Lives Matter movement. He has been wearing the shirt for months in meetings.
— Trevor Lawrence (@Trevorlawrencee) June 7, 2020
It should also be noted this isn’t the first time the “Football Matters” mantra has come from Swinney.
“Football matters,” the coach said in front of South Carolina legislators in February of 2017. “It matters. I tell people all the time when I go speak. Football matters. It’s one of the last great positive influences in young people’s lives. They don’t get it in their music, their social media. They don’t get it in a lot of other areas, but in the game of football, it’s still hard work.”
“Football Matters” is also an initiative undertaken by the National Football Foundation in which parents and coaches “can get information and resources about participating in the game of football.” The NFF further states that the movement “was created to promote sportsmanship, academic achievement, and character-building aspects of the game.”
As one of our readers pointed out in an email, the font on the NFF’s “Football Matters” logo and Swinney’s t-shirt are very similar as well.