AUBURN, AL (WBRC) - Auburn assistant football coach Trooper Taylor said he did not use a derrogatory comment when talking to a football player Saturday night in a video clip aired on ESPN.
Taylor talked exclusively with FOX6 Sports reporter Sheldon Haygood on Tuesday, disputing reports that he called one of the Auburn football players "n-----" on the sidelines as he and the player exchanged a chest bump.
"That's not what was said," Taylor said. "My father and mother always said, 'listen with your heart, not just what was said.'"
Taylor said he called the player by his name.
Taylor also explained why he wears his hat backwards. He said his father died when he was 12 years old. He said every morning, his father would allow him to turn his hat around backwards so that he could kiss him goodbye. Taylor said that kiss was the last time he saw his father alive, so wearing his hat backwards is his way of paying tribute to his father.
"It's not about style or trying to be cool, it's a way to recognize and remember my father," Taylor said.
Taylor also said he was excited about the new Trooper Taylor spirit towels being sold and how his enthusiasm was contributing to the games.
"Enthusiasm is contagious," Taylor said. "It's a game of momentum. I'm passionate about the game."
Taylor said parts of the proceeds from the sale of the spirit towel will be given to a charity of his choice.