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#pounditWednesday, October 4, 2023

Clemson players defend Dabo Swinney over shirt, alleged locker room remarks

Dabo Swinney is the latest college football coach to come under fire for allegedly using racist language toward his team, but at least one former Clemson player and one current Tigers star are defending Swinney against the criticism.

Former Clemson player Haamid Williams said in a series of tweets Saturday that Swinney once used the N-word while lecturing players before another coach visited to tour the Tigers’ facilities.

“If I say this and you weren’t in the room people are gonna think Im on hallucinating,” Williams wrote. “We played music everyday before practice for obvious reasons. Mike Reed, new/prospective CB coach came to visit and he toured our locker room while we were listening to music. Dabo walked into the meeting room and said, ‘I don’t want to walk in the locker room with guests/future coaches hearing n—- this n—- that in our house.’ Some people just walked out of the team meeting room because they didn’t want to hear his s—.”

Another former Clemson player, tight end Brandon Ford, said Williams’ story is not entirely accurate. Ford tweeted on Sunday that he doesn’t recall Swinney using the N-word but he does remember the coach lecturing players about not playing vulgar music when guests were around. Ford said he was the one playing the music that irritated Swinney.

“Bro, not telling you how you should have addressed it but I was there and it’s false, I don’t recall him saying the N WORD at all,” Ford wrote in a response to Williams. “I was the 1 playing the music and it had all kinds of profanity going on because we all play the unfiltered versions. Hell its us in locker room. And we be jammin and having a great time. Swinney was upset because he happened to be showing a coach out facilities and it could have made it be a bad impression. He did come up to the team meeting room expressing that he doesn’t want to experience that again but he didn’t say, ‘N—- this and n—- that.’

“I know you probably taking heat behind all this but I’m here to tell you, just pray about it and think a little longer before using social media because it can be taking to another level.”

Clemson quarterback Trevor Lawrence also defended Swinney over another issue. A photo began circulating on social media over the weekend that showed Swinney wearing a shirt that says “FOOTBALL MATTERS.”

Many took that to mean Swinney was mocking or devaluing the “Black Lives Matter” movement, but Lawrence says that is not the case at all.

Clemson has come under fire quite a bit during the recent protests. A former player said on Tuesday that assistant coach Danny Pearman used a racial slur toward a player during practice, and ex-Tigers star Shaq Lawson also had some unflattering things to say about Pearman.


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