Black Mizzou players say they’ll strike until president Tim Wolfe resigns

8 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

#ConcernedStudent1950: Missouri Football Players Boycott in Protest of President.

University of Missouri football players said they will boycott team activities until the school’s president resigns or is fired in the latest protest against Tim Wolfe’s handling of race issues. Some members of the Missouri football team announced on Saturday that they will go on strike until the school’s president steps down or is forced to leave.

Missouri didn’t have a game Saturday, but the football program still made major news when sophomore safety Anthony Sherrils tweeted that the team’s black players have gone on strike. The football players’ move — announced on social media late Saturday — comes after graduate student Jonathan Butler went on hunger strike earlier this week to call attention to the issue.

There have been several incidents of racial harassment in recent weeks on the college campus and Wolfe has come under criticism for his handling of the situation. In online photos about 30 Mizzou players are linking arms with Jonathan Butler, the Missouri grad student who is on a hunger strike that he says will last until Wolfe is removed.

They cite Wolfe’s “negligence toward marginalized students’ experiences.” It remains unclear from the wording if all of the team’s African-American players are participating. In one recent incident, excrement in the shape of a swastika was smeared on a dormitory wall while other students have complained that racist slurs are common at the university. Among the players in the pictures are Linebacker Kentrell Brothers, the nation’s leading tackler–Defense End Charles Harris, who lead the team in sacks–and Linebacker Grant Jones, who is the son of one of Mizzou’s coaches. Safety Thomas Wilson wrote on Twitter that “it’s about more than just football for me and my team,” while cornerback John Gibson wrote that the team’s coaches were “100% behind us.” “We all must come together with leaders from across our campus to tackle these challenging issues and we support our student-athletes right to do so,” it said in a statement.

An athletics department spokesman told The Star via text message, “The department of athletics is aware of the declarations made tonight by many of our student-athletes. Missouri Students Association President Payton Head, a black student from Chicago, jumpstarted a conversation about race at Missouri in mid-September when his Facebook post about being berated with racial epithets went viral (Editor’s warning: Link contains explicit content). Wolfe met with Butler and released a statement Nov. 6 in response to an incident at the school’s homecoming parade Oct.10 in which protestors blocked the advancement of the car he was riding in for “about 15 minutes” until they were dispersed by police. News of the football players’ protest is the latest blow to an embattled president who, earlier in the day, was confronted by students outside a fundraiser in Kansas City.

A campus protest that was originally planned for the evening of Nov. 5, after Missouri’s home game against Mississippi State, has been moved to Monday night, according to the Columbia Missourian. Louis, Kansas City and Rolla, has drawn fire from students angered over what they say is his failure to address at least two incidents where black students have been called racial slurs.

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