Many black players at the University of Missouri have refused to play any more football games for the Tigers until system president Tim Wolfe resigns or is fired, due to his alleged inadequate responses to a spate of racial incidents on campus.
Wolfe has given what protesters classify as woefully insufficient response when confronted by critics during Missouri’s Homecoming parade on Oct. 20, with the car carrying Wolfe also striking one of the protesters.
In response, a student group calling itself Concerned Student 1950 — which takes its name in part from the year that Missouri first admitted a black student — has emerged as a protesting body and in late October published a list of demands that include the resignation of Wolfe. And on Nov. 2, the protester struck by Wolfe’s car, a graduate student named Jonathan Butler, announced he would begin a hunger strike that would last until Wolfe resigns, writing of incidents including the president of the Missouri Students Association being called a racial slur on campus, according to SB Nation.
Wolfe met with Butler on Friday and issued a statement that included an apology for his response during the Homecoming parade. But he also had a far less successful run-in with protestors in Kansas City, answering a question about “systematic oppression” poorly enough to produce howls that chased him as he walked away from the conversation, and video of that interaction caught fire on social media late Friday night.
“The department of athletics is aware of the declarations made tonight by many of our student-athletes,” a Mizzou spokesperson said in a statement. “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.”