Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney on death of George Floyd: We must come together

Dabo Swinney, Clemson Tigers. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Dabo Swinney, Clemson Tigers. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /

Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney speaks about George Floyd.

Dabo Swinney addressed the media in a Zoom meeting on Monday afternoon where he addressed the death of George Floyd and the racial divide around the country for the first time publicly.

While Clemson football players Trevor Lawrence, Travis Etienne and Xavier Thomas, among others, were vocal on Twitter and dozens and dozens of college football coaches shared their messages over the weekend, Swinney took until Monday, which subjected him to some criticism. Swinney said at the end of his press conference that he used the time last week to listen and said his players knew it was only a matter of time before he addressed this.

The Athletic’s Grace Raynor relayed Swinney’s quotes during the meeting on Twitter.

“First and foremost I know that we are all hurting for the Floyd family and our country, Swinney said. “I can speak for our entire staff and our team in that regard for sure. We have all witnessed just disgusting acts of evil. That’s really the only word I can appropriately use.”

“What I know as I approach everything from a perspective of faith is that where there are people, there’s going to be hate, there’s going to be racism and greed and jealousy and crime and so on because we live in a sinful fallen world. We’ve had so much bad news.”

“While there may be no hope for a better yesterday, there is hope in the future. And when there’s hope in the future, there’s power in the present. “Our team is hurting. We communicated with them last week. Our staff is amazing. But we absolutely, absolutely, absolutely must come together.”

Swinney has never been shy about leaning on his faith and speaking about how much it means to him and how he’s used this to build the Clemson football program. It’s a reason many top recruits have picked Clemson because they want to play for a coach and man like Swinney at a program where this is valued.

It wasn’t a surprise to see Swinney lean on his faith when working through his emotions and words when addressing the racial injustices, police brutality and the large divide in the country through systemic racism.

Dan Wolken of USA Today relayed more from Dabo Swinney.

“What I know is I approach everything from a perspective of faith, and it’s that where there’s people there’s going to be racism and greed and hate because we live in a sinful, fallen world…

…We have so much bad news but really today I want to take a moment and offer some good news and for me the good news is we have a lord that loves us all and it has conquered already and we all have a choice as to how we think how we love, how we respond and how we forgive…”

“There’s no question these are challenging times but what I’ve learned is where there is no challenge there is no change. We have to all accept the challenge and bring about positive change and growth and as I talked to our staff this morning, the soil is fertile. And the seeds of this soil of change are love, are respect, our attitude, kindness, humility, service, faith and forgiveness.”

And forgiveness is always the hardest. Forgiveness is something I’ve struggled with in my life in my teens and early 20s and eventually, I was the one being hurt because that forgiveness just eats at you. But love, respect, attitude, kindness, humility, service and forgiveness – these are the choices we control. And there are three truths right now for sure for this time. Love doesn’t see color, hate does. Hatred has no heart, love does. And as football teams and just people in general, we have to stick together, have to respect each other and accept the differences that do exist.”

Swinney also used the media availability to provide an update on receiver Justyn Ross who will miss the year after he was diagnosed with congenital fusion.

Next. 25 highest-paid college football coaches in 2020. dark

For more NCAA football news, analysis, opinion and unique coverage by FanSided, including Heisman Trophy and College Football Playoff rankings, be sure to bookmark these pages.