The Maneater

Missouri football players plan to boycott until Wolfe resigns

The boycott has received support from former football players.

Missouri safety Ian Simon (21) walks off the field during the Missouri vs. Vanderbilt game Oct. 24, 2015, at Vanderbilt Stadium in Nashville, Tenn.

The Concerned Student 1950 movement has spread to the football team.

Saturday night, graduate student Jonathan Butler and Missouri defensive back Anthony Sherrils tweeted a picture with over 30 football players announcing that black members of the team will not participate in football activities until UM System President Tim Wolfe resigns. Butler has been on a hunger strike calling for Wolfe’s resignation since this past Monday. Students have also been camping out on Carnahan Quad, saying they’ll leave when Wolfe is no longer president.

Butler also tweeted the picture with a statement reading: “The athletes of color 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 activities until President Tim Wolfe resigns or is removed due to his negligence toward marginalized students’ experiences. WE ARE UNITED!!!!!”

Cornerback John Gibson later tweeted, “Our coaches are 100% behind us. Including the white ones” in response to an earlier tweet from Dave Zirin, host of the Edge of Sports podcast.

Wolfe has been criticized for his lack of action regarding MU’s campus social climate. He recently angered students with his definition of systematic oppression.

“Systematic oppression is because you don’t believe that you have the equal opportunity for success,” he said.

Senior captains Ian Simon and Russell Hansbrough are both in the picture, which shows members of the team standing with Butler in locked arms. The Maneater identified Charles Harris, one of the team’s sack leaders, in the picture.

Hansbrough ended Missouri’s first touchdown drought this week. The team went 33 days without reaching the endzone. Missouri is set to play next weekend in Kansas City against Brigham Young.

Mizzou Athletics tweeted a statement reading, "The department of athletics is aware of the declarations made tonight by many of our student-athletes. 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."

According to the Columbia Tribune’s David Morrison, 58 of the 84 scholarship athletes are black. Sherrils and Butler’s tweets were retweeted by a number of football players, including Hansbrough and Clarence Green.

Athletics spokesman Chad Moller could not be reached for comment at this time. Students at the campsite did not wish to comment on the boycott.

Stay with The Maneater for updates on this story.

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