Clemson players are denying rumors that they were pressured to visit the White House and celebrate their championship win.
A report by Black Sports Online insisted that many players attended the White House event for fear of losing their status or scholarships in the Clemson sports program. Robert Littal focused his proclamations on a segment of a report posted by The Root that Breitbart Sports reported on Tuesday.
In the original report, a single player anonymously told The Root that “some players only attended because they worried that refusing to attend the traditional White House visit might affect their scholarships or playing time.”
Despite that the report also said no players were pressured to go to the White House, Littal focused on that one line and claimed that some of Clemson’s players were “pressured” to attend.
The post, however, did not sit well with some of Clemson’s players. Clemson linebacker Kendall Joseph, for instance, slammed Littal’s report in comments published by The State:
“That’s trash. That’s trash. That’s so false,” Joseph said. “Coach Swinney doesn’t operate that way. He asked us to go just for the full experience being able to celebrate going 15-0 and doing something that’s never been done. That was his main reason why he wanted us to go. Of course, some people didn’t want to go because of the president, but that wasn’t his focus. He was just wanting us to go for the experience because he felt like looking back on it ten years down the line, we might have wished we went. But I mean come on. It was never anything close to that. He just asked us to go, and you’re a grown man you make your own decision. But any of that stuff is just clickbait and just people just trying to get a reaction, people just bored… I mean come on. That’s crazy.”
As NBC Sports noted, several players hit their social media accounts to deny the report that they were pressured to go to the White House:
“Fake News!!!!!” *Trumps Voice* 😭😂😂😂😂😂😂 https://t.co/E9MzF0HxPd
— Clelin Ferrell (@Cle_Missile) January 30, 2019
Tired of seeing dumb comments over something that’s not even true.. Coach Swinney would never do this.. Ever. https://t.co/eukBBByGna
— Amari Rodgers3️⃣ (@arodgers_3) January 30, 2019
No one involved in our program felt pressured. Everyone made their own personal decisions. It’s life, what’s the big deal. https://t.co/Ymzeckv2JH
— Trayvon Mullen Jr (@MullenIsland1) January 30, 2019
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.