As a current resident of South Carolina and former collegiate athlete, I’m disgusted both with Palmetto Family Council as well as Clemson’s head football coach Dabo Swinney.
To fill you in–Coach Swinney originally planned to attend anti-LGBT group Palmetto Family Council’s fundraiser on June 2nd, which quickly became viewed as problematic for obvious reasons.
Palmetto Family Council is a nonprofit education organization who explains their mission “is to persuasively present biblical principles in the centers of influence on issues affecting the family through research, communication, and networking.” This suggests the organization seeks ways to use religion to manipulate people into living their lives a certain way.
And just to show you how wrong this is, I’ve included Palmetto Family Council’s vision as well: “to transform the culture in South Carolina by promoting the values and virtues of marriage, the traditional family model, and sexual purity” (www.palmettofamily.org). Through this we can see the organization’s efforts are to make South Carolinians think that non-Christian ways of same-sex marriage and non-abstinence are “wrong” so that they convert to Christianity. Sounds a bit extreme if you ask me, and I myself am Catholic, which is a subset of Christianity.
And with such an extreme message, it is not surprising that Swinney’s mentioning of attending PFC’s event caused great controversy. House Minority Leader Todd Rutherford expressed his disapproval in the following: “I find it highly inappropriate that Coach Swinney would appear at a fundraiser for an organization that is so openly discriminatory and politically motivated.”
It was evident that Clemson student William Ta’oma also disapproved of Swinney’s decision, as he went so far as to start a petition on change.org calling for Swinney to withdraw from attending the event (www.sports.yahoo.com).
It is possible that the comments and petition have gotten to Swinney, as he made the decision not to attend PFC’s event earlier today. Good job Swinney. #PROUDOFYOU
Seriously though– since Swinney is nationally recognized and works with young men, I believe it was in his best interest to withdraw from the event as he does not want to send the message that he supports, or even tolerates discrimination. (And just for the record, I still find it disgusting and disappointing that Swinney was even considering attending such an event).
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*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports