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Clemson Coach on Kneeling during National Anthem: 'I Think it Just Creates More Divisiveness'

  • Veronica Neffinger
    Religious persecution, missions, Christianity around the world
  • 2016 Sep 14
  • Comments

A number of NFL players followed San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s lead and showed a sign of protest when the National Anthem was played, but what about college football athletes?

Kaepernick made headlines by refusing to stand for the National Anthem in a protest against racial inequality in the country. This week, other NFL players also kneeled, raised a fist, or showed other signs of protest.

According to, college football athletes are usually in the locker room when the National Anthem is played, but Clemson Coach Dabo Swinney was asked if he would discipline a player if the player was hypothetically on the field while the Anthem played and showed a sign of protest.

“I think everybody has the right to express himself in that regard,” Swinney conceded. “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 a platform. I totally disagree with that. Not his protest. But 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.”

Swinney went on to hold up Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as an example of someone who stood up for what was right, but did so in a way that was peaceful and did not create divisiveness.

“I think the answer to our problems is exactly what they were for Martin Luther King when he changed the world. Love, peace, education, tolerance of others, Jesus. A lot of these things in this world were only a dream for Martin Luther King," said Swinney.

Swinney concluded that there are still plenty of problems in the world, but that they can be overcome through hard work and positive qualities. “Now, does that mean that there’s not still problems? Yes. Where there’s people, whether they’re black, green, yellow, orange or white, there is going to be sin, greed, hate, jealousy, deceitfulness. There’s going to be that. That’s always going to be there. But attitude, work ethic, love, respect for others, that doesn’t know any color.”


Publication date: September 14, 2016