The Clemson football team took the field on Saturday in their usual fashion. They were dressed in their all-white road uniforms, as is the case in most road games.
However, there was one noticeable difference. One the back of the players helmets were small decals.
Each player was allowed to choose one of four different stickers to place on the back of their helmet. One said “Equality,” one said “Love,” with the other two saying “Black Lives Matter,” in two different versions.
The decision has sparked a lot of controversy inside the fan base. Head coach Dabo Swinney told the media on Sunday night that his ultimate responsibility lies with his players and how they feel. He wants to support his players and he gave them the ability to decide how they chose to express themselves.
“Listen, I support my guys,” Swinney said. “I mean, not everybody is going to think the same, and that is never going to be the case, but these are young people that have been challenged with a lot of things.”
“They are developing young people. They came up with several different things. They got together, as a team, on what they wanted to do, just like all the teams are doing.”
Controversy or not, Swinney is hoping that fans can put that aside and at least have respect for what these young players are trying to accomplish.
“There is always going to be disappointment,” Swinney said. “Nobody is ever going to fully agree on certain things, but hopefully, people can respect our young men and what they believe in and what their different causes are that they want to bring awareness to or support or whatever that may be through whatever platforms have been made available to them.”