Christianity,  Sports

Coach Dabo Swinney cancels fundraiser after backlash from gay rights groups

Here’s the long and short of it. The Palmetto Family Council (PFC) planned to hold a fundraiser to honor Clemson head football coach Dabo Swinney for his charitable work. Gay rights groups and Clemson students found out about it and raised a stink because of PFC’s opposition to gay marriage. Dabo Swinney cancelled his appearance at the event in order to avoid controversy. Read the rest here.


  • Ian Shaw

    Those groups have become exactly what they claim to be fighting against.

    You can’t even think something anymore if it offends anyone. It’s no one’s business where an individual donates his or her money to. This is getting beyond absurd.

  • Ken Temple

    It seems more and more regular Christians are unwilling to get into the controversy and defend Scripture and the Christian faith and what the bible teaches about homosexuality.

    They (all Christians) (like the football coach) need to be able to stand firm and also be clear that we love homosexuals and want the best for them (new life in Christ, repentance, change) and don’t want them to be bullied or be treated cruelly.

    A few, like Ted Cruz pushed back against an aggressive journalist on this issue recently; but that is rare these days.

    • Ian Shaw

      I agree Ken, but even getting into the controversy, as much as you can tell someone that you love them and want what’s best for them, the only thing (not saying everyone will) they’ll hear is that you don’t like them or you hate them. It may not be that he’s unwilling, but he may understand that the only thing the media will portray is that he’s anti-gay.

      Clearly the coach did not want to lose his job over this. Let’s face it, if he went to that fundraiser, there’s a good chance he gets canned. I’m sure this wasn’t an easy decision for him.

  • Ryan Davidson

    In all fairness to Coach Swinney, he had no prior connection to PFC. And although the coach is a Christian, there’s no indication that he even supports the political agenda of PFC. This looks like a cheesy stunt by PFC to boost attendance at its annual fundraising gala.

    • Ian Shaw

      And the chapters of GLAAD and other LGBT organizations that jumped on this didn’t use this for a political agenda?

      What the expression, “never waste a good crisis”? Just saying.

      This is pretty similar to the Mozilla situation. It wouldn’t surprise me in the least if people started investigating Swinney regarding where’s he’s donated money to and use that information for nefarious reasons. It’s been made clear. If you hold any public stature, CEO’s, college football coaches, etc., you cannot make donations to or be associated with groups that disagree with homosexuality, or you will most likely lose your job or be forced to resign.

      I don’t think it’ll stay with people in the public eye though either.

      • Ryan Davidson

        I doubt that we’ll see any of your dire predictions ensue. And, yes, GLAAD is just as much a political-interest group as PFC is. I never suggested that they weren’t. Nor do I see how that’s germane to the point I was making.

        Again, this strikes me as a crass attempt by PFC to avail itself of Coach Swinney’s status for its own financial gain. Moreover, I suspect that his contract with Clemson requires university approval for him to appear at events where there is advance notice of his attendance of prospective attendance.

      • buddyglass

        Yes. To many people groups like the PFC might as well be the KKK. Just like people would protest if the coach decided to address a KKK banquet they protested when he decided to address a PFC banquet.

        I’m a little surprised stories like this continue to generate shocked outrage. You’d think folks would catch on that a good chunk of the country considers them to be terrible people.

        • Ryan Davidson


          At no time did Coach Swinney decide to give an address at the PFC event. After all, his contract likely requires that such public appearances be scheduled through the university athletic department. Instead, PFC sought to do an end-run around the university by giving him an award, even though the Coach neither sought the award nor had any prior connection to PFC. Nor is there any indication that Coach Swinney even agrees with PFC’s political agenda. After all, one can be a devout Christian without agreeing with the political agenda of the Christian Right.

          Moreover, Clemson University has the exclusive right to profit from Coach Swinney’s public appearances. That’s part of what the university is getting in exchange for the $3+ million it pays him annually. PFC sought to profit from Coach Swinney’s appearance at its annual fundraising gala, thereby cutting the university out of the exclusive right for which it had negotiated.

          I think most people can make a rational distinction between PFC and the KKK. Even so, most Division I athletics programs are going to decline invitations to have their employees assist in fundraising for political interest groups, regardless of the political viewpoints being advocated. PFC surely knew that. Otherwise, the likely wouldn’t have decided to issue an “award” to an individual who had no previous connection with the group and who just happened to be the head football coach at Clemson. Moreover, I suspect that PFC knew that the appearance would be declined, and that they could use this as an opportunity to seek donations from unwitting donors as a victim of “persecution.”

          • buddyglass

            Swinney certainly has some say in the matter since he’s now refusing to attend. If he can cancel his appearance now then he could have pre-cancelled it when the University first approached him with PFC’s request.

            To be clear, I agree that it’s highly likely Swinney doesn’t share their views. He probably didn’t even know they held views that might be considered controversial.

            “I think most people can make a rational distinction between PFC and the KKK.”

            Yes and no. Yes, the KKK is an extreme example and even the most zealous supporters of same-sex marriage probably don’t liken the PFC to the KKK. For starters, the PFC doesn’t have a murderous past.

            But plenty of people do consider anyone who opposes same-sex marriage to be a flat-out bigot, on par with the inveterate racist guy who bandies about the N-word like it’s no big deal. Given that, the reaction to Swinney being scheduled to help out the PFC with fund-raising makes more sense. People reacted about the same way they would if he’d been scheduled to speak at a fund raiser for the League of the South.

  • Mitch Dean

    Ryan and Ian,

    You guys are both right. It’s totally fair to say that all sides are spinning here. However, I’m glad Ryan pointed out the other side because Denny and, to be fair, all evangelicals do have a tendency to present these situations as just involving big, mean, uber left, pinko commie gangs beating up on fine, upstanding and blameless christian folk who “speak the truth in love.”

    Ian, it’s always been true (and not because of gay people) that public figures have to tread more carefully in their words and actions because they typically speak for many. And that’s true not just when the subject is homosexuality but for many, many issues.

    Denny, could we get a post about something besides the evil gays, with their big fangs and sharp teeth who are coming to get all of the christian children and take them away in gunny sacks? Some days you make it sound like there’s not another thing going on in this old world that might be worth some time, attention and intelligent discourse.

  • Gus Nelson

    New story: Dabo Swinney attends GLAAD meeting to receive an award for his tireless work in promoting the LGBT agenda. Oddly, no one threatened boycotts, email campaigns or any other attempt to have him fired or otherwise disciplined by Clemson University.

  • Chris Ryan

    With the horrible news out this weak about former GOP Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert’s attempts to cover up sexual abuse of a boy, its no wonder Americans and younger Christians have grown tired of the hypocrisy. We’ve embraced the GOP, but when you lie down with dogs you pick up fleas. Too many Americans think we’re both hateful and hypocritical.

    • Ryan Davidson

      Last night the Chicago NBC station broadcast the story about Hastert from the Wheaton College campus…in front of a building named after Hastert.

    • Ian Shaw

      To be honest, as a Christian, I’ve never embraced the GOP, as I believe Christians are bound to no specific political party and to think so it kind of weird to me. My identity is found in in Christ, not a political party.

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