CLEMSON — On third-and-15 in the fourth quarter, Dabo Swinney says he couldnt care less about a players sexual orientation.
The subject in the news all week in the aftermath of NFL-bound Missouri defensive end Michael Sams revelation that he is gay was raised to Swinney during an interview with 92.9 The Game in Atlanta.
Swinney said that there were gay players on teams at Alabama when he played, and hes sure there have been gay players at Clemson during his time there.
The bottom line, he said, is that its nobodys business.
To be honest with you I dont get in all that stuff, Swinney said. I dont think it is anyones business what their sexual orientation is. This is football. I have a lot of personal beliefs that I believe in, but I cant transfer those to the football field. On third-and-2 or third-and-15, you need the best football player.
When I was at Alabama there were a couple of guys, as a player, that we felt like that was their sexual orientation. But it was never an issue, never a problem. Its not something that you run out to tell people.
Again, you have respect for each individual and their personal beliefs. Its just like theyre different religions. Im a Christian, but Ive coached and played with Muslims and all kind of different religions. Its not about any of that. Those are personal decisions that people have to make. I mean everyone is going to be judged one day, but its not up to me to judge somebody.
Swinney said players sexual orientation has been a non-issue during his time coaching at Clemson.
Its the same thing since Ive been here at Clemson, Swinney said. Ive been here 11 seasons now and Id be foolish to think there hasnt been a few guys that have come through here. That would be foolish. A football team is really just a reflection of society. It really is. Youve got 118, 120 guys on the team, you got a little bit of everything.
Thats your job as a teammate, your job as a coach to bring all that together. Its not just sexual orientation. Its religious beliefs, its background, culture. You are just talking about one thing. There are lots of things that are dividing or potentially dividing factors among people.
Thats what makes football great. Football is the ultimate team sport. There is nothing that brings race, religion, and all that stuff together like the game of the football.