The National Anthem and football players is now a hot-button issue in American society, though a moot point in college football. In most cases there is no statement to be made by players who would like to make one, since teams typically remain in the locker room during the Anthem.

Still, that didn’t stop someone from asking Dabo Swinney his thoughts on the issue. And it certainly didn’t stop him from answering. The Clemson head coach said he wouldn’t punish any player who kneeled during a hypothetical Anthem, but he in no uncertain teams didn’t agree with their hypothetical stance.

“I think everybody has the right to express himself 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 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.

“I think there’s a better way. How about call a press conference? Express your feelings. Everybody will show up, talk about it. Go and be a part of things, and protest them. That’s great. I think everybody has that right. I certainly respect that. But I just think that this just creates more division. That’s what I hate to see.

“I hate to see what’s going on in our country. I really do. I think this is a good world. I think this is a great country. It’s just that things get painted with a broad brush in this world these days.

“There’s more good than bad in this world. With 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. Boy, that’s politically incorrect. That’s what he did. It’s amazing when we don’t learn from our past how you can repeat your mistakes.

“(The Bible) says, Love the Lord with all your heart, all your mind, all your soul. The second one is, love your neighbor as you’d love yourself. It doesn’t say love your neighbor from 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’re the same gender as you, or whatever. (It doesn’t say) love your neighbor if they have the same sexuality as you. It just says, love your neighbor as you’d love yourself. If we all lived by that in this country, we wouldn’t have near the problems we have.

“There’s a lot of good police officers. There’s thousands of perfect traffic stops. Lot of good men. Lot of good women. But those don’t get the stories. There’s some criminals that wear badges. Guess what? There’s some criminals that work in the media. There’s some criminals that are football coaches. There’s some criminals that are politicians. There are criminals that work in churches. It’s so easy to say we have a race problem, but we got a sin problem. It’s just my opinion. That’s Dabo’s opinion.

“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. Not a one-term, but a two-term African-American president. And this is a terrible country? There are interracial marriages. I go to a church that’s an interracial church. Those were only dreams for Martin Luther King. Black head coaches. Black quarterbacks. Quarterbacks at places like Georgia and Alabama and Clemson. For Martin Luther King, that was just a dream. Black CEOs, NBA owners, you name it. Unbelievable.

“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.”

Update: We found full video of Dabo’s comments compliments of Fox Carolina News.


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National columnist - Zach joined the staff in 2012...and has been attempting to improve Doug and Scott's writing ability ever since (to little avail). Outside of football season, you can find him watching the San Antonio Spurs reading Game of Thrones fan theories.