“I find it highly inappropriate that Coach Swinney would appear at a fundraiser for an organization that is so openly discriminatory and politically motivated,” House Minority Leader Todd Rutherford said in a statement, according to The State. “I cannot fathom why Coach Swinney or anyone else would knowingly assist a group whose mission is to fight against equal rights and equal treatment of others.”
“As a state employee, national figure and role model to kids all over the state, Coach Swinney should send a message that he has zero tolerance for discrimination and cancel his appearance,” Rutherford added.
Swinney is scheduled to receive an award from the Palmetto Family Council at a June 2 event. The organization's president, Oran Smith, told The State that Swinney is being "honored for his Christian testimony, not political reasons."
The organization's “vision is to transform the culture in South Carolina by promoting the values and virtues of marriage, the traditional family model, and sexual purity,” it says on its website.
A Clemson spokeswoman told The State the appearance does not appear to be a speaking engagement.
Last spring, the Freedom From Religion Foundation sent a letter to Clemson alleging Swinney's Christianity was too closely intertwined with the football program.
- Dan Gartland