Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence Defends Dabo Swinney’s “Football Matters” Shirt

Lawrence denied the shirt was mocking the Black Lives Matter movement

Trevor Lawrence Defends Dabo Swinney's "Football Matters" Shirt
Head coach Dabo Swinney and Trevor Lawrence of the Clemson Tigers. (Norm Hall/Getty)
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After a photo of Clemson Tigers head coach Dabo Swinney wearing a “Football Matters” shirt that surfaced over the weekend led to criticism, star quarterback Trevor Lawrence took to social media to defend him.

Posted on June 6 and ostensibly taken the same day, the since-deleted picture shows the Clemson football coach wearing the shirt that appears to make a droll but entirely unfunny response to the Black Lives Matter movement:

Given the state of affairs in the U.S. following the murder of George Floyd, the photo was justifiably criticized.

But Lawrence, Swinney’s 20-year-old signal caller and the presumptive first-overall pick in the 2021 draft, was quick to speak out on his coach’s behalf amid the backlash.

In his first tweet since late May, Lawrence suggested that his coach’s choice in apparel was nothing more than an ill-timed coincidence:

Lawrence also responded to a tweet from quarterback trainer Quincy Avery, who runs the QB Takeover training program in Atlanta.

Some fans previously ripped into Swinney for waiting for a full week to issue a response to the killing of Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis. Explaining why he delayed issuing a statement, the 50-year-old said, “sometimes it’s better to listen than to speak.”

When he did speak, Swinney referenced his Christian faith.

“We all have witnessed just disgusting acts of evil. That’s really the only word I can appropriately use over the past recent week here and beyond,” he said. “We’ve had so much bad news. Everywhere you turn, there’s bad news. But really today, I just want to take a moment and offer some good news. For me, the good news is that we have a Lord that loves us all and has conquered already, and we all have a choice to how we think, how we love, how we respond and how we forgive. There’s no question that these are challenging times.”

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