A lot of money was raised to battle breast cancer last Saturday in Clemson at the 2018 Dabo Swinney Ladies Clinic. Plenty of eyebrows have also been raised after racy video and pictures from the event were shared on social media.
Members of the Clemson Tigers college football team are pictured dressed in their underwear or rolled-up shorts, and a video shows star defensive lineman Christian Wilkins performing a striptease around a seated woman.
In the video, Wilkins guides one of the 3,000-plus participants in the event to a seat on the floor of Littlejohn Coliseum, as a crowd of women look on in the background at an event where the university invited female fans to participate in drills, meet coaches and players.
While holding her hand, Wilkins guides the woman to a seat, which she takes with dramatic flair. As Wilkins circles the woman a number of times, she playfully reaches for him.
He eventually tears off his tank top and begins to briefly dance in front of her, then drops to grind on the ground. He rises and approaches the seated woman in an embrace before circling her again and draping a leg over her shoulder.
The video ends as Wilkins and the woman swap positions, with her rising to face him as he sits in the chair.
Clemson Sports Information Director Ross Taylor said the video showed part of the afternoon program, a segment called “Dancing with the Tigers.”
Taylor told The State that the 55-second video of Wilkins dancing was not a reflection of what happened throughout the event. He did not comment on the specific actions in the video.
“I think what’s been going around is certainly not indicative of what was actually going on,” Taylor said, pointing out that other performances were not as racy. “Clelin (Ferrell) was dancing with his mother out there. I think the winner was swag surfing. That video that’s going around is certainly not indicative of what was going on the whole day.”
Clemson said Wilkins might have crossed a line with his performance, WIS-TV reported.
Taylor also sought to diffuse any controversy over a photo shared on Twitter of Clemson football players standing around, or posing, while some were wearing underwear or rolled-up shorts.
Taylor said that photo came from a strength and conditioning portion of the Ladies Clinic. Unable to bring heavy equipment from the weight room onto the floor of the basketball arena where the Ladies Clinic was held, the participants improvised with a bodybuilding competition.
“They were looking for a visual representation of the strength and conditioning program. They did a body building pose off,” Taylor told The State. “Very similar to really any body building contest you’ve seen — tasteful, fun, allowing the guys to be representations of the hard work that’s done with the strength and conditioning program.”
Taylor said the event was held in Littlejohn Coliseum because the interest and the participation was so high in the 10th annual Ladies Clinic. Clemson co-offensive coordinator Jeff Scott said that more than 3,000 women participated in the event.
According to Taylor, $250,000 of the money raised went to the Greenville Health System to provide a mobile mammography van that can go around the state and help detect breast cancer. He said an additional $100,000 went to Oconee Hospital to fight breast cancer.
“We were really able to spread our impact around the state and try to make an impact in that area,” Taylor said.
Some women who attended the Ladies Clinic lauded the event on Twitter. One woman wrote she “had the best time at Dabo’s ladies clinic and the best part was all the (money) raised for breast cancer awareness!”
Another woman tweeted she “had a great day at the Dabo’s Ladies Clinic ... great to see other Clemson girls!” while one woman took time to thank ESPN broadcaster and cancer survivor Holly Rowe for speaking at the event, thanking Rowe for her “inspiring speech.”
“I am in awe of your courage and determination.”