Dabo Swinney Releases 14 Minute Video Defending Himself Against Racism Claims

Dabo has had himself a hell of a week. 

It started 7 days ago, when this tweet went viral: 

The coach mentioned in the tweet above is Danny Pearman. The next day he released a statement/apology for what had occurred in a 2017 practice:

On June 6th, former Clemson walk-on Haamid Williams tweeted out another accusation against Dabo:

Later on June 6th, a picture was seen on Twitter of Dabo wearing a "football matters" shirt. This, of course, caused a bit of a stir based on the timing of Dabo wearing that shirt. 

Within the video, Dabo discusses all of these incidents. 

N-word used by an assistant coach at practice: 

SOURCE-In his first public acknowledgement of the incident, Swinney said he would "fire a coach immediately" if he called a player the "N-word" but said that is not what happened and that the context of the incident with former Clemson tight end D.J. Greenlee was crucial to how it was handled.

Swinney said he has made it known to players he does not like hearing the N-word used by anyone in his program and that Pearman was trying to correct Greenlee when he repeated it during a drill.

Context does matter, however, a good rule should be that if the n-word is used by a white coach in your program, there is immediate discipline. From there the context will determine whether or not there is a firing. 

"He shouldn’t have done that. There’s no excuse for saying it, doesn’t matter what the context is, but there is a big difference," Swinney said. "He didn’t call someone an N-word. There’s a lot of things I don’t allow in our program, but when things happen we deal with it. Sometimes it’s in private, sometimes it’s in public. In this case the player came to me in private and we handled it in private."

There was also an allegation that Dabo didn't want his players going to anti-racism protests. He adamantly denied that:

Swinney pushed back on another allegation from Tuttle that he discouraged players from attending an anti-racism protest on campus. Swinney claimed instead that he only informed them that if they wanted to participate, they should know what they’re getting into and be comfortable showing up on the local news or ESPN because they would be recognized as Clemson football players.

This is completely fair from Dabo. Being a Clemson football player means you're under the spotlight at all times. Before going to a protest, you should know exactly what it's about and who runs it. I see nothing wrong with Dabo advocating that to his players. 

On racial slurs in music:

“The music. I was actually hiring Mike Reed, who is my now DB coach and has been since 2012. And was touring him around. We were down there by the locker room. And there was music blaring and literally every other word was an 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, he called me this week saying, ‘Coach, this is crazy. This is an absolute lie.’ And I said, ‘I know.’

"But anyway, I stood before the team and as I always do said, ‘Guys, I don’t want to hear that word. I’m trying to walk a coach around and I’m hearing the n-word over and over and over.’ Never did I repeat that word. So I wanted to address that.”

On the Football Matters shirt:

This was the weirdest part. 

“Any insinuation that I was trying to mock the Black Lives Matter movement is just an attack on my character,” he said. “It’s really sad. I wholeheartedly support Black Lives Matter. In fact, I don’t think that’s adequate enough. I think Black Lives significantly and equally matter. To me, Black Lives Matter is kind of like, ‘Hey, we matter, too.’ I think Black Lives significantly and equally matter. God loves us all. None of us are better than anyone else.”

He probably should've just reshot this part of the video. The overall message was good, but him explaining to us why he thinks Black Lives Matter isn't "adequate enough" was weird. 

I don't think Dabo is a racist. Is there a chance that the guy who grew up in Alabama in the 70s & 80s isn't the most woke among us? Of course. Would that excuse him from being racist? Of course not, but the "allegations" levied against him this past week don't prove much. There could be more to these stories that we don't know, but with the information we currently do have, it doesn't appear to me that Dabo is racist. Could he make strives towards educating himself more? Yes and the prime example of that is him wearing a Football Matters shirt this past weekend.