WATCH: Clemson’s Head Football Coach Dabo Swinney Defends Danny Pearman After Reports He Used N-Word
Last week, it was revealed that an assistant coach of the Clemson football team, Danny Pearman, used a racial slur during a practice in 2017. The incident was reported to Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney, but there wasn’t anything done about it. This had many people irate with Swinney for what he did or did not do.
On Monday, in a video posted on Clemson Football’s website, Swinney made his first public comments regarding that 2017 incident, as well as the Black Lives Matter movement as a whole. “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. Coach Pearman was correcting D.J., and another player was talking to D.J., or D.J. was yelling at the player, and D.J. said something he probably shouldn’t have said. He said, ‘I blocked the wrong f—ing N-word,’ and Coach Pearman thought he was saying it to him, and he’s mad, and he reacted, and in correcting him, he repeated the phrase. And [Pearman] said, ‘We don’t say we blocked the wrong f—ing N-word.’ And he repeated it. He shouldn’t have done that. There’s no excuse for even saying that. But there is a big difference. He did not call someone an N-word.”
The D.J. referenced in Swinney’s quote was former Tiger D.J. Greenlee who last week said that the incident was addressed internally but was not handled properly with the rest of the team.
Over the weekend, Swinney also faced criticism on social media after a photo came to light of Swinney wearing a shirt saying “Football Matters,” which some thought was Swinney mocking the Black Lives Matter Movement. Swinney said that he had not intention in making fun of the Black Lives Matter movement and that he supports the movement. “Any insinuation I was trying to mock the Black Lives Matter movement is just an attack on my character,” he said. “And really sad. I wholeheartedly support Black Lives Matter. I don’t quite think that’s adequate enough. I think black lives significantly and equally matter. God loves us all. None of us are better than anybody else. Actions are much louder than any words that I can say. I’ve always loved my players. I’m tough on them, but I love them deeply. This past week, it has hurt. It has been hurtful to see the pain in my players, to hear it in their voices. I know they’re hurting, and they have pain for what is going on in this country and this world, and it’s also hurtful to see our program be attacked. We have an opportunity to grow, to learn, to listen, to get better and to get stronger, and that’s what we’ll do.”