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'Osama bin Dabo?' Clemson's Swinney plays on terrorist's name in chat on Alabama

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FILE - Clemson head coach Dabo Swinney, Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017. (AP Photo/Richard Shiro)

At least one high-profile sports broadcaster is calling on Clemson football coach Dabo Swinney to apologize over comments he made comparing himself to terrorist Osama bin Laden.

The remarks in question came in a February interview Swinney did with Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski on his Sirius XM radio show, according to a story published Monday by Clemson sports news website TigerNet.com.

Krzyzewski jokingly asked Swinney, an Alabama native, if the Crimson Tide had put up a wall to keep him out of Alabama, according to the TigerNet.com piece.

"I don't know about walls, but I am kinda like Osama Bin Dabo," Swinney is quoted as saying in the Krzyzewski interview. "I have to navigate my way through the caves and back channels to make my way through Alabama these days. They aren't as happy to see me."

The tongue-in-cheek comparison to Osama bin Laden is a satirical reference to evasion of military and intelligence forces by bin Laden and his Al Quaeda organization in the years following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States.

David Hood, senior writer for TigerNet.com, reported Dabo's comments comparing himself to bin Laden in a Monday, June 10, story on Swinney's relationship with his home state.

Swinney is from Pelham, Alabama. He played and coached for the Crimson Tide before coming to Clemson.

Weeks prior to the Krzyzewski interview, Clemson had beaten Alabama for the second time in three seasons to win the college football national championship.

On Tuesday, Swinney's "bin Dabo" comment drew harsh criticism from Paul Finebaum, a prominent ESPN college football analyst who gained a national audience as an Alabama sports talk radio host.

"This is an unacceptable comparison by Dabo and distasteful to the memories of the many lives lost and impacted by 9/11," Finebaum said on Twitter.


Just shy of 3,000 people died in the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. More than 6,000 others were injured.

The United States and other western powers said they had intelligence directly linking bin Laden to the plotting of the attacks, sparking a years-long manhunt for him, and a still ongoing war against militant regimes in the Middle East.

Al Quaeda and Taliban fighters, including bin Laden personally, were depicted throughout the U.S. War on Terror as eluding western forces by hiding in and traveling through a network of caves and other covert pathways throughout the Middle East.

U.S. military forces ultimately killed bin Laden on May 2, 2011, after locating him hiding in a compound in Pakistan.

As of Tuesday evening, Swinney nor Clemson athletics officials have publicly commented on the matter.