Clemson coach Danny Pearman apologizes for saying N-word in 2017 practice incident
Clemson assistant football coach Danny Pearman issued a statement on Tuesday about a 2017 incident where he used the N-word.
On Twitter Tuesday, former Clemson walk-on wide receiver Kanyton Tuttle made public an incident about a Tigers coach using the N-word during practice. He did not name Pearman in his tweet and said there were no repercussions for the coach.
Cap, you allowed a coach to call a player the N-word during practice with no repercussions. Not even a team apology. When we had the sit-in in front of sikes you suggested us players try to stay out of it to limit distractions. Stop protecting your brand, take a stand https://t.co/7gznXmyniI
— Tut (@_kinggtutt) June 2, 2020
The State’s Matt Connolly tracked down D.J. Greenlee, who was the other player involved in the incident with Tuttle, to share more details about what happened.
“It was just a heated argument during practice, basically. Me and the coach got into it and I was speaking with one of my teammates. He heard me use the n-word basically, and basically tried to correct me by saying the n-word back,” Greenlee told The State. “He wasn’t saying that I was a n-word. It was, using the tone, in a word like, ‘OK … I was talking to my teammate and you came over here.’”
Greenlee says Pearman spent the rest of the season apologizing, and Greenlee says he was eventually able to accept the apology.
Pearman, who is the team’s Assistant Head Coach/Tight Ends Coach/Special Teams Coordinator, issued the following statement on Tuesday after the past incident was publicized.
“Three years ago on the practice field, I made a grave mistake involving D.J. Greenlee. I repeated a racial slur I overheard when trying to stop the word from being used on the practice field. What I overheard, I had no right to repeat,” Pearman said in his statement.
“While I did not direct the term at any player, I know there is no excuse for me using the language in any circumstance. I never should have repeated the phrase. It was wrong when I said it, and it is wrong today.
“I apologized to D.J. at the conclusion of practice, who then appropriately raised his concern to Coach Swinney. Coach and I met to discuss the incident, and he reiterated that my language was unacceptable. I later apologized again as well as expressed my sincere regret to our position group the following day.
“I love the young men who choose to come to our university, and I would never do anything to intentionally hurt them. I sincerely apologize to D.J., his family, our team and our staff.”
Pearman played for Clemson as a tight end in 1986 and 1987 and joined the coaching staff in 2008.
A statement from Clemson Tight Ends & Special teams Coach Danny Pearman on the incident that happened between himself and former Tiger D.J. Greenlee. pic.twitter.com/XSoiOE6NuE
— Brandon Dunn (@BDunnsports) June 3, 2020