buju
01 Jan 1970 |

strike

 

Why Missouri football players are going on strike; university president won’t quit

With the backing of their head coach, football players at Missouri are threatening to stop participating in any football activities until the president of the university system is fired or resigns. In a late afternoon statement, though, the president declined to do so, saying instead that the school would start a system wide diversity examination.

foot1The player’s action stems from troubling racial incidents on the Columbia, Mo., campus, incidents that Missouri’s Legion of Black Collegians believes were poorly handled by Tim Wolfe. The campus-wide group announced its decision, using the hashtag #ConcernedStudent1950 and a photo of 32 black men on Twitter on Saturday night. Concerned Student 1950, the student activism group leading the protests, is named for the year Missouri first admitted African-American students.
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More than 30 football players at the University of Missouri will not participate in any practices or games until Missouri System president Tim Wolfe resigns or is terminated. Several black team members announced their decision to strike on social media Saturday night and Missouri’s Legion of Black Collegians posted a statement on behalf of the team with a picture of players unified in support of the boycott.

Wolfe’s response to a series of racist incidents has been considered inadequate by many students who believe racism has poisoned the campus. A graduate student, Jonathan Butler, announced earlier in the week he was going on a hunger strike until Wolfe was removed. The most recent racist incident came Oct. 24 when a swastika was drawn with human feces on a college dorm’s white wall.
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Sophomore defensive back Anthony Sherrils tweeted: “The athletes of colour on the University of Missouri football team truly believe “Injustice Anywhere is a threat to Justice Everywhere” We will no longer participate in any football related activities until president Tim Wolfe resigns or is removed due to his negligence toward marginalized students’ experiences. WE ARE UNITED!!!!!!”

Several more African-American players, including senior running back and team captain Russell Hansbrough, followed with a series of passionate tweets. Missouri’s student body is 77% white and 7% black, while 58 of the school’s 84 scholarship football players are African-American.