Several Clemson players wore social justice messages in their game against Virginia on Saturday night – just days after head coach Dabo Swinney expressed that he was against placing messages on the uniform.
Receiver Amari Rodgers and running back Lyn-J Dixon warmed up with the word “Equality” on the back of their jersey where their names would be, while tailback Travis Etienne had the word “Peace” in place of his name.
Other players had “Love,” “Together,” “Unity,” and “Enough” on their jerseys while the entire team warmed up in black T-shirts with the words “WE NEED CHANGE” on them, according to
Swinney’s objections to social justice messages on the uniforms was not because he does not support his players, but rather because he is a traditionalist and does not think the uniform should not be altered.
”It’s not anything to do with the messages,” he said. “I’ve always just not messed with uniforms.”
Swinney has been supportive of his players to shine light on social causes but prefers his players stick to “common-sense causes” rather than show support for any political organizations.
Players have indeed followed through with shining a light on these messages throughout the season. In their opener at Wake Forest on Sept. 12 players had helmet stickers with the phrases “Equality,” “Love,” “Black Lives Matter,” and “Put a Stop to Racism.” A week later, they locked arms in the first quarter in support of social justice.