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How a football team sent #ConcernedStudent1950 into overdrive

How a football team sent #ConcernedStudent1950 into overdrive

The entire Missouri Football team refused to take the field unless president resigned or was fired. Courtesy | @MatthewACherry via Twitter

How a football team sent  #ConcernedStudent1950 into overdrive
November 12
03:06 2015

The Editorial Board

What can be said about the Missouri football team’s boycott earlier this week? Beyond it’s quick-found success, it single-handedly plopped the issue of race-on-campus directly onto the nation’s lap.

The week-long hunger strike undertaken by graduate student Jonathan Butler, paired with the level of solidarity shown by the school’s football players and athletic staff, have showcased the power held by major sports teams and student leaders in a fight for change.

In the wake of the resignation of Mizzou president Tim Wolfe, the need for open dialogue between students and administrators has never been more apparent. Though the lack of response by university leaders on issues of racism sparked the initial outrage, the tale and cause found in #ConcernedStudent1950 can serve as both a cautionary tale and point of interest.

An athletic director for a school in a Power Five conference expressed his concern to USA Today Sports regarding the issue, saying the scariest part for someone in his position is that “something can come out of nowhere in a hurry.” But he didn’t have to deal with the protest.

Had the boycott continued on to next weekend, when Missouri was set to play Brigham Young University in Kansas City, it would have cost the university nearly $1 million. Money aside, in Mizzou’s South Eastern Conference, complications following the cancellation of a game over student protest are explosive at best. If Jonathan Blunt was the first to pique peoples’ interest in campus issues, the boycott summoned their activist spirit.

Everyone needs to understand that major sports teams have power beyond the field, and the realization of this fact by Missouri’s football team sent #ConcernedStudent1950 into overdrive. So much time, money, and pride rests within the religion of sports, and with the reach and influence sports teams and large organizations have, they may need to be the proponents for change.

“Are we going to solve every problem this way? Absolutely not,” Missouri athletic director Mack Rhoades said while showing his support for protestors this week. Whether or not this proves to be true, the boycott was ideal for activists in its quick and widespread success, and it would be dismissive to assume athletes and student leaders across the country won’t take notice.

Featured Image: The entire Missouri Football team refused to take the field unless president resigned or was fired. Courtesy | @MatthewACherry via Twitter

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