Report: Spike Lee creating ESPN digital short about Mizzou protests

Dr. Saturday

The Missouri football team's involvement in campus protests during the 2015 season is reportedly getting the documentary treatment.

According to Indie Wire, director Spike Lee was in attendance at the True/False film festival in Columbia, Missouri, over the weekend. Lee watched a 30-minute documentary about the Concerned Student 1950 movement on campus. The Mizzou football team briefly boycotted all football activities because of the movement in early November.

Lee said Monday at Missouri he is interested in using footage from the short in an ESPN digital short he's creating that will debut in May. The shorts are an offshoot of the "30 for 30" documentary series that has featured the University of Miami football team, Southern Methodist's football program among many other topics since the series' inception in 2009.

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Systemic racial inequality became the focus of the movement that, at least initially, had a multi-pointed focus.

The emotions captured in the film were evident in last night’s audience, which was packed with University of Missouri students for whom the issues addressed in the film were clearly still raw. Before the film even began the filmmakers received a standing ovation, while five of the original members of Concerned Student 1950 took to the stage to make clear their struggle did not end with Wolfe’s resignation. After the screening the group led the audience in one of their protest chants, while receiving their second standing ovation of the night. A surprise guest in the audience was Spike Lee, who Indiewire has learned is interested in using some of the footage from the documentary for his own ESPN 30 For 30 project about the Missouri football teams' role in the protests.  

The CS1950 movement rose to prominence when the football team joined the movement in solidarity with a student who was on a hunger strike until University of Missouri system president Tim Wolfe resigned. Wolfe resigned on Monday, Nov. 9.

The hunger strike ended after Wolfe's resignation and the team also ended its boycott. Then-Missouri coach Gary Pinkel, who posted a tweet supporting his players, has said his support for their decision not to play was the right thing to do.

Earlier this year, Wolfe told friends via email that the football team threw gasoline on a small fire.

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Nick Bromberg is the assistant editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at nickbromberg@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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