Report: Vast Majority Of Clemson Football’s Black Players Skipped White House Trip

first_imgclemson football players at the white houseWASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 14: (AFP OUT) Members of the Clemson Tigers football team prepare to dine on fast food served by President Trump to celebrate their Championship at the White House on January 14, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Chris Kleponis-Pool/Getty Images)Clemson football’s White House trip following the program’s national championship drew a lot of attention, thanks to the unconventional spread provided by President Donald Trump.It was unclear why Clemson’s trip was rushed along and done during a government shutdown—the Tigers’ trip two years ago was in June—but they were greeted by a spread of fast food from McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, and Domino’s.What was not really reported upon was the group of Tiger players that made the trip.Quarterback Trevor Lawrence was present, and drew the President’s attention. Trump said that he wanted to be the superstar freshman’s agent in a few years.Many of his most prominent teammates were not there, however, per a new report.The Root spoke to three anonymous Clemson football players who say that the vast majority of the roster’s black players did not make the trip.According to the players, who were standouts on the Tigers’ title team per the site, the President was the reason that many decided not to go. Those who did were largely younger players, or those whose roles on the team were less certain.From the report:The Root spoke with three black Clemson players who each separately confirmed that many players, both black and white, had no interest in making the trip. All three acknowledged that Donald Trump was the reason they chose not to attend. Even more telling, most of Clemson’s white players were in attendance while nearly three-fourths of the school’s black football players took a hard pass on the chance to eat cold fries with the president of people who eat salads from McDonald’s.“It wasn’t like we had a team meeting or anything,” said one of Clemson’s offensive stars who spoke with The Root on the condition of anonymity. “Players were talking amongst each other but everybody was like: ‘I’m not going to that.’”Another defensive standout noted that coaches didn’t pressure players to accompany the team to Washington, D.C., but said that almost every black player he knew didn’t want to take the trip. However, he noted that he knew that some players only attended because they worried that refusing to attend the traditional White House visit might affect their scholarships or playing time.“Not saying anything against the players who went,” the junior explained, “but if you look at who went—freshman and people fighting for playing time—you’ll see what I’m talking about.”The Root says that just 15 of the at least 57 black players on the Tigers roster attended the trip, 11 of whom were underclassmen.More revealing than that: only six of the black players in attendance were on the depth chart for the title game against Alabama.Clemson gave a statement to The Root, saying that 76 players made the trip, with a number of others missing due to “class obligations,” as well as those who had already graduated and were no longer on campus. One of the anonymous quoted players said that the decision to go was left up to the players, and that many of those who stayed behind had the option of missing class, but instead chose to stay behind.The three players did say that the program and school did not pressure players towards making the trip.[The Root]last_img read more