Dabo's sermon on MLK, anthem sitting and social issues
|Tuesday, September 13, 2016, 12:46 PM- -|
CLEMSON - Call it The Sermon from the Team Room.
Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney was previewing the Tigers home game against South Carolina St. when he was asked about two topics that have been trending and buzzing on social media - NFL players not standing for the national anthem and the decision by the NCAA to remove several championships from the state of North Carolina due to a controversial transgender bathroom law.
The first question centered on the NCAA's decision –which could cause the Dr. Pepper ACC Championship Game to move from Charlotte - and Swinney turned an otherwise ho-hum Tuesday press conference into a wild affair
“I don't have any thoughts other than I hope we are in the championship,” Swinney said. “We will go to Pluto and play, or wherever. Tell us where to show up and we'll show up, and hopefully, everybody can go to the bathroom while we're there. It doesn't matter. Where is the game.”
He was then asked if he would discipline one of his players for not standing for the national anthem a la San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
“We don't really have the national anthem (the players are in the locker room at Clemson during the ceremony), but no I wouldn't discipline my player for that,” Swinney said. “I think everybody has a right to express themselves in that regard. But I don't think it's good to be a distraction to your team. I don't think it's good to use the team as the platform. I totally disagree with that. Nobody has asked me about Kaepernick or whatever, but I totally disagree with that. Not his protest, but I think there is a right way to do things. I don't think two wrongs make a right. Never have, never will.
“I think it creates more divisiveness, more division. I am saddened to see what’s going on in this country. I think there's a better way - call a press conference and everybody will show up. Express your feelings. Talk about it. Express yourself. Go and be a part of things and protest them. I think that's great. Everybody has that right, and I certainly respect that. But I think it creates more division and that's what I hate to see.”
Swinney then said the USA would be a better place if it followed the example of late Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King.
“I hate to see what's going on in our country. I think this is a good world. I think this is a great country, but things get painted with a broad brush these days,” he said. “There is more good than bad these days. I think one of the greatest leaders this world has ever seen is Martin Luther King. I don't know that there's ever been a better man or better leader. To me, he changed the world. He changed the world through love in the face of hate. He changed the world through peace in the face of violence. He changed the world through education in the face of ignorance.
“And he changed the world through Jesus, and boy, that's politically incorrect. It's amazing how when we don't learn from the past we can repeat our mistakes. The Bible says love your neighbor as you love yourself. It doesn't say love your neighbor with the same religion. It doesn't say love your neighbor if they're the same color as you. It doesn't say love your neighbor if they pull for the same team as you. It doesn't say love your neighbor if they are the same gender as you. It doesn't say love your neighbor of they're the same sexuality as you. It says love your neighbor as you love yourself. If we all lived by that in this country, we wouldn't have the problems we have.”
He then went on to say that there are good and bad people in all walks of life while alluding to police violence.
“My brother worked as a police officer, and he worked the night shift. There are a lot of good police officers, and there are thousands of perfect traffic stops,” Swinney said. “A lot of good men and a lot of good women. Those don't get the stories. But there are some bad ones, there are some criminals that wear badges. There are some criminals that work in the media. There are some criminals that are football coaches. There are some criminals that are politicians. There are criminals that work in churches. I think we have a sin problem in the world. It's so easy to say we have a race problem, but we have a sin problem. And that's Dabo's opinion.”
His answer to the world’s problems? Follow Dr. King’s path.
“I think the answer to our problems is exactly the same thing as Martin Luther King preached when he changed the world - it's love, peace, education, tolerance of others and Jesus,” Swinney said. “It's what I think. And people think that things are falling apart and so bad in this country, some of these people need to move to another country. I think a lot of things in this world were only a dream for Martin Luther King. Not only a one-term, but a two-term African-American President. And this is a terrible country? That was a dream for Martin Luther King. We have interracial marriages.
“I go to an interracial church. Those were only dreams for Martin Luther King. Black head coaches. Black quarterbacks. Quarterbacks at places like Alabama and Georgia and Clemson - when Martin Luther King was alive that was only a dream. Black CEOs, NBA owners, you name it. Unbelieveable. Now does that mean there aren't problems? Where there are people there is going to be hate and jealousy and deceitfulness. There is always going to be that, and it's always going to be there. Always.”