"If you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything." We all know that classic quote.
Well, the University of Missouri's football players lived up to that quote, they stood in solidarity by rising against racism and discrimination and their unity brought about change. From hunger strikes to protesting, they stood their grounds regardless of racial hostility and finally, the University of Missouri System President, Tim Wolfe stepped down and resigned yesterday (Nov.10).
The hunger strike started by Jonathan Butler, a graduate student at the University of Missouri who wanted to raise awareness about the inequality and racial tension at the school. Followed by that, thirty football playes of the university who themselves got invloved and started a football strike. The football players made it very clear that they would not participate in any practices or play any games until Tim Wolfe resigned. These football are smart too and knew it was a strategic move because if the University of Missouri failed to attend (play) any games, they would have to forfeit and pay that school $1 million dollars. Also the university would lose out in revenues of sale (concession stands, tickets sales) in cancellation of any games. These players took it back when it comes to boycotting, they hit them in the pockets and many other different races and cultures joined in on the boycott as well.
Taking it to the next level of boycotting, the football players of the University of Missouri locked arms in solidarity, got the media involved and the story went national, maybe global now.
The students expressed to the media of being verbally assualted on campus with racial slurs, a series of disturbing racial incidents on campus (like someone drawing a swastika with their feces), racism and even discrimination in some of their classes. The players stated when these issues were brought to Tim Wolfe, he basically brush it under the rug and neglected to act out on it or do anything about it as the president of the school.
In a statement with news media yesterday (Nov.10th), Wolfe (pictured above) did not deny anything he has been accused of and even admitted to taking full responsibility for what has happened. He even urged the students and football players to continue to use their voice and heal from this.
“I take full responsibility for this frustration and I take full responsibility for the inaction that has occurred,” Wolfe stated, adding: “Use my resignation to heal and start talking again.”
After the resignation of Tim Wolfe, students, falculties and players of all sports took to social media to express concern, the history of racism at the school and changes that need to occur in the school.
“Oppression at my alma mater and in the state of my alma mater occurred LONG before the tenure of this System President," tweeted Kim English, a former basketball player of the university.
“If U were black at my alma mater, and ur name was not Maclin, Denmon, Pressey, English, Weatherspoon, Carroll, etc. You didn’t feel welcome,” English stated, listing the names of some of the university’s most prominent black athletes over the last decade.
This is not the first time the students and football players have taken a stand against racism and discrimination, some of them went to Ferguson and partipated in their protest against injustice and police brutality. The students and football players of the University of Missouri, indeed displayed the power of unity and solidarity as one to bring about positive and effective changes when it comes to issues like racism; and sweeping things under rug when it comes to discrimination. These students and football players are part of a change for a better future which they have the vision for.