If you’ll indulge me with a tortured analogy of my own making, it seems like every time Dabo Swinney opens his mouth, the results are similar to what Vince Dooley used to say about throwing the ball: three things can happen and two of them are bad.
The difference is that Dabo doesn’t seem to appreciate the odds.
Take, for example, his wisdom about the death of George Floyd and the protests that have consumed the country:
… Swinney courted controversy in 2016 when he suggested people who protest during the national anthem should leave the country.
“I don’t think it’s good to use the team as a platform,” Swinney said at the time. “I totally disagree with that. I just think there’s a right way to do things. I don’t think two wrongs make a right. Never have, never will. I think it just creates more divisiveness, more division.”
On Monday, Swinney was asked about those comments and said they were “probably a harsh statement, for sure.”
“Probably”? Amazingly — or maybe not, considering the source — Dabo had actually taken his time before making a public statement on the subject.
Swinney may have thought his comments would be the end of the matter (“We all have a choice as to how we think, how we love, how we respond and how we forgive” is the kind of deep insight these hard times need), but, as is often the case in moments like this, reality set in.
When I saw that tweet, I dismissed it as coming from a disgruntled former player. Such was not the case, it seems.
Clemson assistant coach Danny Pearman apologized Tuesday after word spread on social media of an incident in which he used a racial slur during a practice in 2017.
After several former Clemson players noted the incident Tuesday on Twitter, former tight end D.J. Greenlee confirmed an account to The State newspaper in which Pearman, the tight ends and special-teams coach, overheard players using the term and repeated it himself.
“It was just a heated argument during practice, basically. Me and the coach got into it, and I was speaking with one of my teammates. He heard me use the N-word, basically, and basically tried to correct me by saying the N-word back,” Greenlee told The State.
Pearman, who coached with Dabo Swinney at Alabama before joining the Clemson staff in December 2008, offered an apology in a statement from the school after Greenlee confirmed the incident.
“Three years ago on the practice field, I made a grave mistake involving D.J. Greenlee. I repeated a racial slur I overheard when trying to stop the word from being used on the practice field. What I overheard, I had no right to repeat,” Pearman said in the statement.
Yeah, that’s not a good look. But I’m sure all will be forgiven on the recruiting trail.