Ben Boulware addresses poking, groping by Clemson players
Blink and you might have missed it, but there was a decidedly R-rated moment in Clemson's College Football Playoff semifinal victory over Ohio State on Saturday when defensive lineman Christian Wilkins let his fingers do the walking during a player scrum.
He's since apologized for doing so, saying that it was a amusing thing and not a harmful thing.
Even though Boulware said Bailey and Samuel didn't mind and that's just how football is, the latter two seemed to have different opinions.
"It's harassment", he says.
"Would you rather me poke you in the belly button or grab your butt, rather than me stomp on your ankle or kick you in the area?" he said. The extra effort applied here, in plain view, is unnecessary, and probably why Wilkins felt the need to apologize for "just being silly" with the groin grab of Curtis Samuel.
Several players suggested similar plays were common at the bottom of a pile.
As inexplicable as that groping was, we are equally dumbfounded by his teammate, Ben Boulware, defending Wilkins's actions and asking if it's "really that big of a deal". "But when I'm just messing with somebody, poking them in the belly button or grabbing someone's butt, it's just to break up the seriousness of the game".
Via TheState.com, Boulware added this gem: "Me and Christian have fun out there".
Boulware said the pokes and grabs have been a means of getting into the heads of other players during a game, as he did with SC lineman Zack Bailey in another highlight that has become social media fodder in the aftermath of Wilkins' play. It's gained some unwanted attention. He's not going to suspend Christian for grabbing a dude's butt. I would just poke them. We don't sit in the locker room poking each other's butt, we're just together all day and get comfortable around everybody. The people who are freaking out about that have never played the game, or were just losers who didn't have any friends when they played the game. And Boulware probably, er, definitely took things one or two steps (or four fingers?!) too far in trying to explain why Wilkins did it. I just wish Christian didn't do it as aggressively as he did.
Yep. Sure did. I mean, I think he said it best.
What in the world was Clemson's Christian Wilkins thinking? "He's just a guy that can be a little silly at times", Swinney said. "It's stuff you do when you're competing, and I know that's not a good look". At this point, I couldn't give a rat's ass if the actual game is any good. He apologized for it, apologized to the kid, that's really it.
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