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Dabo challenged on controversial comments

Dabo Swinney has been receiving mixed reviews concerning his remarks on 49er’s player Colin Kaepernick’s ongoing national anthem protest. 
A reporter asked the Clemson Coach if he would discipline one of his players in the event that they refused to stand for the national anthem. Swinney answered no, and that he didn’t agree with Kaepernick’s protest methods—which were, in Swinney’s words, “inconvenient.” He did say that he believed Kaepernick had the right to exercise his rights—the same as his players do. 
Swinney also mentioned that he did not think there was a better man or leader than Martin Luther King, and that he spread his message “the right way.”
Communications Professor Chenjerai Kumanyika confronted Swinney in an open letter, pointing out that the coach had contradicted himself on several occasions—particularly when he used King as a reference point.
“What better way to silence the profit-threatening specter of black athlete protest than by offering the image of a civil rights activist who protested in a way that was more “professional” and “convenient” for everyone?” said Kumanyika. “There’s only one problem. There was nothing convenient or palatable about Dr. King.”
Kumanyika’s response received attention in the Greenville News and among members of the Clemson community. Robert M. Gunter, CUSG Military Affairs Director, penned an open letter in response to Kymanyika in the Tiger Town Observer which has received over 48 comments itself. 
The response, entitled “We Won’t Take Your Class,” 
Swinney also received backlash from former Clemson player, DeAndre Hopkins, who told the Associated Press that a person should not “speak on something unless they’ve been put in that situation.” 
“I wouldn’t speak on something about something else if I had no idea what was going on or how they felt because I couldn’t relate to it,” said Hopkins. “So I don’t suggest anybody else do it.”
Among those who defended Swinney was football player Tajh Boyd, who told ESPN that “Swinney’s heart was in the right place.” 
“I can honestly say that Coach Swinney is one of the most pure people I have ever met,” said Boyd. “I think he … was saying that if you tell your mom when you are a kid that you don’t like the food she is cooking – ‘well alright go find some food somewhere else.’ It wasn’t what people thought it was.

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