Back in February, Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney referred to himself as “Osama bin Dabo.” This obnoxious quote has gone under the radar for months and it is just now becoming a topic of conversation.
“First, the questions asked of Swinney were in jest: Is there a wall around the state of Alabama that doesn’t let you in anymore? Or around Pelham, Alabama? Can you still go home?
“I think it was all fun and games early on. It was, ‘Aww, isn’t that sweet’ and all that stuff. I don’t know about walls, but I am kinda like Osama bin Dabo,” Swinney said, laughing. “I have to navigate my way through the caves and back channels too make my way through Alabama these days. They aren’t happy to see me, but it’s all good. It’s a good problem.””
Just how a conversation and quote like that has gone unnoticed for so long is bizarre and shocking in today’s world where everything is found and made into a thing. But clearly, that is not the story right now. Regardless of the context or way he said it, referencing Osama bin Laden in that context is completely inexcusable and upsetting. There is no better way of summing it up than how Paul Finebaum did on Twitter, mentioning how inconsiderate it was to all the 9/11 victims.
The shameful comparison by Swinney goes far beyond a mistake. It shows an incredible lack of knowledge on a topic that many feel is the darkest day in this country’s history. Through that lens, it’s easy to understand a person who now views Swinney differently.
It’s hard to envision any way the inevitable apology is going to make those bothered by this show even an ounce of forgiveness.