By Tyrone Townsend, Staff Writer
A group of black players on the Missouri football team have called for a boycott and will not compete in football activities until University President Tim Wolfe resigns or is removed from his post. Racial tensions have come to a head on the Missouri campus in Columbia since September, when Missouri Students Association president Payton Head said he was racially abused while walking on campus.
Students protested after it took nearly a week for the university chancellor to address the incident. In October, someone smeared feces in the shape of a swastika on a bathroom wall in a new residence hall, which is another of the many reasons Wolfe has been criticized for his handling of the situation.
A graduate student, Jonathan Butler, began a hunger strike in protest of Wolfe and the football team has now followed suit. According to reports, the university downplayed the incident and more backlash toward administrators ensued, with Wolfe enduring the most.
According to the Columbia Daily Tribune, 42 of the 64 players on Missouri’s current depth chart are black. Several took Twitter Saturday night to address the protest, with cornerback John Gibson saying “[The decision] has nothing to do with our coaches. All our coaches are 100 percent behind us.”
Head coach Gary Pinkel confirmed Gibson’s tweet by taking a stand with his team and saying on Twitter that he and his coaches are backing their players no matter what.
The Tigers are scheduled to face off against BYU Saturday, Nov. 14, and they may have to forfeit the game if they are not able to field enough players for the contest.