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It should perhaps come as little surprise that a team that’s as focused on faith as winning national championships is keeping the politics out.
Whereas some championship teams, like the Philadelphia Eagles and Golden State Warriors, have chosen to turn a glorified photo op into some sort of political statement, the freshly minted college football national champions will apparently do no such thing.
President Donald Trump congratulated the Clemson Tigers for their dominant 44-16 win over the Alabama Crimson Tide in the College Football Playoff championship game in a tweet Friday.
Trump also said he’d soon be welcoming them to the White House.
“I look forward to hosting, right out of the great State of South Carolina, the 2019 NCAA Football Champion Clemson Tigers at the White House on Monday, January 14th,” the president said. “What a game, what a coach, what a team!”
By virtue of Monday, Jan. 14, being a concrete date, it seems that Clemson has already accepted the invitation.
The best part of that? The Tigers didn’t make a spectacle out of it or anything. There was no suspense or drama.
As any photo op should be treated, the invitation seems to have been quietly accepted without any political grandstanding or hand-wringing.
This will be Clemson coach Dabo Swinney’s third visit to the White House. He visited Trump’s White House in 2017 after Clemson beat Alabama the first time, and he visited Bill Clinton’s White House in 1993 as a Crimson Tide player, according to ESPN.
Love them or hate them, you have to admit that Swinney and the Tigers’ approach to politics, or lack thereof, is a breath of fresh air in an increasingly politicized sports world.
Unlike certain unnamed quarterbacks, Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence seems to have no interest in protesting during the national anthem.
Lawrence wants to speak about God’s word instead. That type of leadership has clearly trickled down from Swinney to Lawrence and the rest of the Clemson players.
It would be naive to suggest that not a single coach or player on the Clemson roster has something against Trump, but they don’t seem inclined to turn their White House visit into a political protest.
Football fans want to watch the players play and coaches coach, not for them to get political. The Tigers seem to understand this.
If they’re going to continue to be a voice of reason in an increasingly erratic sports world, here’s to hoping they win many more championships.