Cardinals’ DeAndre Hopkins defends Clemson coach Dabo Swinney

Jun 10, 2020, 11:45 AM
DeAndre Hopkins #6 of the Clemson Tigers gestures against the West Virginia Mountaineers during the...
DeAndre Hopkins #6 of the Clemson Tigers gestures against the West Virginia Mountaineers during the Discover Orange Bowl at Sun Life Stadium on January 4, 2012 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Arizona Cardinals receiver DeAndre Hopkins defended Clemson football head coach Dabo Swinney’s response to one of the Tigers’ assistants using a racial slur three years ago.

Assistant coach Danny Pearman said he made a “grave mistake” when he repeated a racial slur to ex-Tigers tight end D.J. Greenlee at practice. The incident came to light last week when former player Kanyon Tuttle posted about it on social media.

Tuttle also alleged Swinney discouraged players from attending a peaceful sit-in protest against racism. Swinney eventually posted a lengthy video statement on Monday.

“One thing I do know Coach Swinney has never been a racist or had any ill will towards any player,” Hopkins wrote on Twitter. “Best coach I’ve ever been around from a football perspective and personal perspective. He helped me become a man and grow from being a kid from Central South Carolina.”

Hopkins’ defense of Swinney comes as the Clemson head coach has taken criticism for the content of his statement, how he’s handled the aforementioned incidents in the past and whether he’s using his position of power to fight for racial equality.

And while Hopkins defended Swinney, he did post on Instagram Tuesday to express his displeasure with his alma mater’s use of the names of pro-slavery politicians on its campus.

“Clemson University still honors the name of well known slave owner and pro-slavery politician John C. Calhoun on its buildings, signs, and in the name of its honors program,” Hopkins wrote. “I felt this oppressive figure during my time at Clemson and purposely do not mention the University’s name before NFL games because of it.”

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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