Trevor Lawrence Defends Photo of Dabo Swinney Wearing ‘Football Matters’ T-Shirt

TALLAHASSEE, FL - OCTOBER 27: Head coach Dabo Swinney of the Clemson Tigers talks with quarterback Trevor Lawrence #16 before the game against the Florida State Seminoles at Doak Campbell Stadium on October 27, 2018 in Tallahassee, Florida. Clemson won 59-10. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Although Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney has been criticized for wearing a “Football Matters” shirt, quarterback Trevor Lawrence defended him Sunday morning:

Trevor Lawrence @Trevorlawrencee

Coach Swinney’s shirt, in any way, is not mocking the Black Lives Matter movement. He has been wearing the shirt for months in meetings.

Lawrence also claimed his team would back him up after Swinney was called “tone deaf” for wearing the shirt:

Trevor Lawrence @Trevorlawrencee

Also a lot going on that you don’t see bro, trust me. The whole team would say the same thing as well. https://t.co/rEltRyh0T5

The controversy began when a picture surfaced Saturday of the coach wearing the T-shirt, which could be seen as a response to the Black Lives Matter movement.

Elika Sadeghi @elikasadeghi

It appears the tweet was deleted. Here you go. https://t.co/wwcuEWZ8dh

It comes as protests continue nationwide against police brutality and racial injustice.

Swinney chose not to speak out immediately after an unarmed black man, George Floyd, was killed by a police officer in Minneapolis. Several days after other college coaches released statements, the Clemson coach spoke to the media, via Grace Raynor of The Athletic.

“Sometimes it’s better to listen than to speak. It’s not about trying to speak first or something like that,” Swinney said. “I spent the last week listening.”

Lawrence was one of the first athletes to come forward, showing support for those protesting.

“I’m siding with my brothers that deal, and continuously deal, with things I will never experience,” he wrote on Twitter. “The injustice is clear.. and so is the hate. It can no longer be explained away. If you’re still ‘explaining’ it – check your heart and ask why.”

As John Taylor of NBC Sports noted, “Football Matters” is also an initiative created by the National Football Foundation.

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