THE MORNING CONSTITUTIONAL RESPECTS YOUR RELIGIOUS FREEDOM

Kevin C. Cox

ONE HUNDRED PERCENT

A STATEMENT FROM DABO SWINNEY, HEAD FOOTBALL COACH, CLEMSON UNIVERSITY

I'd like to expand on my previous statement, in which I reiterated my commitment, shared by everyone in this program, to welcome players of all faiths and backgrounds. My approach to leading this football team has always been to embrace differences and recognize the value diversity offers us. Just as I wouldn't want a roster composed entirely of offensive linemen or cornerbacks, I have never felt the need to demand uniformity of religious belief from my players. We want guys who will play hard, keep up their studies, and represent the university well.

For example, I never reduced his playing time or role with our team after I learned that Da'Quan Bowers liked to read X-Men comics, even though Wolverine's healing ability is clearly an affront to the mortality essential to the human condition that reminds us we can be called by the Lord at any time. Nor did I punish Deandre Hopkins when I heard he'd watched Sister Act during the holidays. I don't personally think Kathy Najimy - a confirmed witch - belongs in a religious position, but Nuk is a fine young man and I respect his right to disagree with me on that. And I bet you didn't know Willy Korn worships a giant stuffed bear he won at a county fair. He calls him "Emperor C'Zashtor" and leaves him an offering of Spree candies stuffed in a tennis ball with a hole cut in it every night. I helped recruit Willy Korn, and I still think the world of him. If you're willing to work your butt off for your teammates, on and off the field, we want you to play at Clemson.

Just not that Kathy Najimy. I don't want to get turned into an owl again.

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