As South Carolina state representative J. Todd Rutherford addressed a crowd of protesters in front of the State House on Friday, he knew a lot of eyes were on him.
It was more than the 500-plus on the grounds in front of him. The mere presence of 150 or so of that group was going to mean his message traveled far beyond the area he could see. That’s because the Gamecocks football team, including head coach Will Muschamp, participated in a peaceful two-and-a-half-hour march and protest that culminated with Rutherford’s speech on the State House steps.
“I think that it adds eyes on the crowd,” Rutherford told The Athletic. “The fact it has swelled that much that you have an entire team, with the coach coming out and saying, ‘Enough is enough,’ that means the world. What people are going to say is, ‘Where’s Clemson? Where’s Presbyterian? Where’s Furman?’… ”
“What people are going to say is, ‘Where’s Clemson?” Why, ‘Cock fans, of course, will. It’s all they’ve got for the moment.