Swinney addresses coach’s use of racial slur, social injustice among other topics in video message

Clemson head football coach Dabo Swinney addressed several reports regarding his team among...
Clemson head football coach Dabo Swinney addressed several reports regarding his team among other topics in a video message posted to the team's website on June 8, 2020.(Clemson Tigers/YouTube)
Updated: Jun. 8, 2020 at 8:01 PM EDT
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CLEMSON, S.C. (WIS) - Nearly one week after a Clemson assistant football coach released a statement regarding the use of a racial slur during practice, Tigers head coach Dabo Swinney spoke to that matter among other issues impacting his program.

On June 2, assistant Danny Pearman issued a statement about an incident that took place in practice three years ago where he repeated a racial slur he said he overheard in practice. On Monday, Swinney commented about the incident.

“Anybody who has been in our program, they know that there’s two words I don’t want to hear,” Swinney said in the video message. “There’s a lot of them I don’t want to hear, but there’s two in particular that I will absolutely call you out on. One is the N-word and the other is G-D. I would fire a coach immediately if he called a player an N-word. No questions asked. That did not happen. Absolutely did not happen. It has not happened.”

Swinney added he did not know anything about the incident. However, Swinney clarified during the video that Pearman did not call any player by a racial slur

The responses from both Clemson coaches came following a social media post stating the incident occurred.

Since then, Greenlee has also released a statement saying he’s put the situation behind him.

Swinney also discussed a viral photo where he was wearing a shirt that said “Football Matters” shortly after the death of George Floyd.

“It’s a shirt I’ve had for a couple of years,” he said. “It’s given to pretty much every coach by the National Football Foundation and that’s been their promotional thing, I think, since all the way back in 2014. I would just say that any insinuation that I was trying to mock the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement is just an attack on my character and really sad.

“But I also will say 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 like, ‘Hey, we matter, too.’ I think black lives significantly and equally matter.”

Swinney also addressed his reported use of a racial slur, calling it “absolutely false.”

Swinney also addressed an incident involving explicit music heard from the locker room, the Sikes Sit-In from four years ago, social injustice, and what the Tigers are doing to combat social justice.

“I always have believed that actions are a lot louder than words,” Swinney said, “and I love our team for the actions that they have already taken with a great town hall meeting and lots of communication in our position meetings. We had a wonderful senior meeting last week with just great discussion and it was just awesome to see and hear our young men speak, and just wonderful brotherly love. We’ve got a team meeting coming up and many other things, so I’m proud of the actions that our guys have already taken.”

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