The University of Missouri football team met Sunday morning to discuss the increased racial tension on campus and the call by African-American student-athletes to boycott football activities until UM System President Tim Wolfe was fired.
Gary Pinkel tweeted this picture after the meeting.
Pinkel issued a joint statement with athletic director Mack Rhoades at approximately 4:30 p.m. CT Sunday.
Today, Sunday, there will be no football practice or formal team activities. Our focus right now is on the health of Jonathan Butler, the concerns of our student-athletes and working with our community to address this serious issue. After meeting with the team this morning, it is clear they do not plan to return to practice until Jonathan resumes eating. We are continuing to have department, campus and student meetings as we work through this issue and will provide further comment tomorrow afternoon.
Saturday evening, Missouri cornerback Anthony Sherrils posted a picture of 32 Missouri players standing united and a message saying that African-American football players would not participate in football activities due to the recent events on campus.
University president Tim Wolfe made a statement Sunday afternoon that gave no indication he was preparing to step down.
Several African-American Missouri students have been protesting what they say is systematic racism on the University of Missouri-Columbia campus. The latest incident came Oct. 24 when a swastika made of feces was smeared on the wall of a dorm bathroom. The man referred to in the statement by Pinkel and Rhoades, Jonathan Butler, is on a hunger strike until Wolfe is removed from his position.
Prior to that, Payton Head, the head of the Missouri Students Association, said several people in a passing truck yelled racial slurs at him while he was walking. And several other groups and individuals have noted racist treatment while on campus.
The events started a movement called the "Concerned Student 1950," which has orchestrated demonstrations in an effort to force the university to take action against the racist treatment and implement more racial education for teachers, staff and students.
However, their calls for this action have been ignored and subsequently, calls for Wolfe’s ouster have become equally as prevalent.
Even Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has responded by condemning the inaction by Wolfe.
For more Missouri news, visit PowerMizzou.com.
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