Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney will not discipline his players if they protest the national anthem, but says he disagrees with the way San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has protested.
Kaepernick has not stood for the national anthem through the preseason and the first game of the regular season, and says he wants to call attention to the country's racial injustice.
"I think this is a great country. It’s just that things get painted with a broad brush in this world these days," Swinney said, according to The Post and Courier.
“I think everybody has the right to express himself in that regard," Swinney added. "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.”
For home games, Clemson players are not in the stadium when the national anthem is played. They make their “running down the hill” entrance shortly before kickoff.
Swinney says Kaepernick and his players have a right to protest, and hates "to see what is going on with our country." Swinney says he believes there is a better way to get a point across if change is the aim.
"How about call a press conference?" Swinney said. "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."
- Scooby Axson