Dabo Swinney fires back at racist comments made about Deshaun Watson
|Thursday, September 20, 2018, 7:01 AM- -|
CLEMSON – Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney has known Houston Texan quarterback Deshaun Watson since Watson was a gangly freshman at Georgia’s Gainesville High School and has seen Watson grow into a franchise quarterback in the NFL.
Don’t tell Swinney that Watson doesn’t have what it takes to be successful in the NFL, especially because of Watson’s skin color.
Lynn Redden, superintendent of the Onalaska Independent School District, which sits approximately 100 miles north of Houston, is in trouble this week after posting comments about Watson on social media.
On Tuesday, Redden wrote on the Houston Chronicle’s Facebook page: “That may have been the most inept quarterback decision I’ve seen in the NFL. When you need precision decision making you can’t count on a black quarterback.”
During the final moments of Sunday’s loss to Tennessee, Watson snapped the ball and bounced around in the pocket, eventually burning the remaining 17 seconds off the clock and throwing a pass to receiver DeAndre Hopkins. The game ended before the Texans could line up for the field goal, which would have tied the game.
Redden posted his comments under the article and said in an interview with the Chronicle that he deleted the post immediately after he realized it was a public comment and not a private one. Redden said he was referring to the statistical success of black NFL quarterbacks, adding that they "have had limited success" throughout the league's history.
Swinney was asked about the incident following Wednesday’s practice, and he said comments like the ones made by Redden show a lack of common sense. And ignorance.
“There’s nothing that surprises me in this day and age, first of all. That’s just total ignorance,” Swinney said. “That’s really all I can say. It’s just total ignorance. It’s just a lack of common sense.”
Swinney was front and center when Watson led Clemson down the field in the last two minutes of the 2016 National Championship Game against Alabama. The win came over what many thought was one of the best defenses in college football history. Watson hit Hunter Renfrow in the corner of the end zone with two seconds left on the clock to lift Clemson to the win.
Swinney remembers that moment all too well and went on to say that God was in a good mood when He created Watson.
“I don’t care if he was purple, green, yellow, blue. What sets him (Watson) apart is that he’s a phenomenal person number one,” Swinney said. “He’s an unbelievable person. He’s unbelievably committed to being the best that can he be and just special. God blessed him and He was in a good mood when He created him as a quarterback because he’s got all of the tools that you could ever want in a quarterback. He’s brilliant. He’s a brilliant player. He’s got a beautiful arm. He’s got great feet. He’s got great poise, great demeanor, a great mind for the game and he’s a great teammate and a great leader. I don’t know what else you could possibly want and here’s the best part...he’s a winner.
Watson took the high road and declined to criticize Redden.
“Of course,” Watson said when asked if he deals with racism. “This is everyday life, I guess. But I’m all about love, so I don’t focus on any of that. I love all people. That’s what I focus on.”
Swinney smiled when told of Watson’s comments on the situation.
“I love it and no because that’s who he is,” he said. “He’s a great human being who just happens to be a quarterback. I love that.”