Not all players on board with boycott, per ESPN
Player: “If we were 9-0, this wouldn’t be happening.”
Nov. 08, 2015
Not all of the Missouri football players are supporting the team’s boycott, according to ESPN.
After a tumultuous day within the Mizzou athletic department in which the football team announced their boycott in support of Jonathan Butler, it was reported that some players side with the opposing view.
"Not everyone agrees with the decision (to stop all football activities)," an unnamed white player told ESPN College Football Insider Brett McMurphy. "Most people are pissed, including the black guys (on the team) … If we were 9-0, this wouldn’t be happening.”
Multiple players have tweeted in support of the protest, including starters Anthony Sherrils, Clarence Green and Charles Harris. No one on the roster has expressed opposition on social media.
After meeting for hours early Sunday, coach Gary Pinkel expressed support in a Tweet, which portrayed coaches and players — all with locked arms — in a photo.
Coach Gary Pinkel and athletic director Mack Rhoades issued a statement shortly thereafter, saying that there practice would be cancelled for the day and that “it is clear (the players) do not plan to return to practice until Jonathan resumes eating.”
While it seemed that a majority of the team was united in the decision to protest, the player told ESPN that “half the team and coaches — black and white — are pissed” about the situation.
“(The player) basically said that the team is not united over the decision to stop practicing until Jonathan Butler ends his hunger strike,” McMurphy said on SportsCenter. “It’s not that they don’t support Butler — they certainly don’t condone any racial harassment with the various things that have been going on. Their issue is that the football team is having to stop practice, is not allowed to participate in any kind of football activity.”
Saturday night, senior running back Russell Hansbrough tweeted, "There is no racial tension between the team and coaches. We are a family.” In contrast, Sherrills specified a certain group of players, saying, “The athletes of color on the University of Missouri football team truly believe ‘Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.’”
Following the release of ESPN’s report, junior linebacker Michael Scherer took to Twitter to reiterate the team's unity and disputing the source.
“Just because everyone wasn't in the picture doesn't mean that we don't all stand together as a family,” he wrote. “Whoever is speaking against our Unity as a family and team is not apart of the same family that I am. By that I am saying that I don't believe that anyone in our locker room would ever say that and the ‘mystery informant’ isn't reliable.”
The UM Board of Curators is scheduled to meet on Monday at 10 a.m., and Mizzou players and coaches are scheduled to hold their weekly media appearances on Monday at 3:30 p.m.