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Black football players at Missouri are going on strike from football activities until a change is made in university leadership. Missouri cornerback Anthony Sherrils posted this message to his Twitter account Saturday evening with a picture of a group of 32 Missouri players. The strike is after a Missouri graduate student named Jonathan Butler announced he was going on a hunger strike until University of Missouri president Tim Wolfe vacated his position. We're black. Black is powerful. Our struggle may look different, but we are all #ConcernedStudent1950 pic.twitter.com/obCjSWCFVY — HeMadeAKing (@1Sherrils_2MIZZ) November 8, 2015 It's about more than football. #ConcernedStudent1950 #MizzouHungerStrike — Kevin Pendleton (@BigKev_MIZ) November 8, 2015 This is JUST not about race. It's about Grad students getting benefits and unity within the athletes and community#ConcernedStudent1950 #GGM — Clarence Champ Green (@clgreen93mu) November 8, 2015 The St. Louis Post Dispatch identified linebacker Kentrell Brothers, defensive end Charles Harris and running backs Russell Hansbrough and Ish Witter in the photo. "The department of athletics is aware of the declarations made tonight by many of our student athletes," a statement from Missouri's athletic department said. "We must all come together with leaders from across our campus to tackle these challenging issues and support our student-athletes' right to do so." Cornerback John Gibson III said the team's coaches and white players supported the movement. @EdgeofSports has nothing to do with our coaches. Our coaches are 100% behind us. Including the white ones — John Gibson III (@thatgibsonkid) November 8, 2015 Many African-American students are upset with what they feel is systemic racism on the campus. The latest incident happened October 24 when a swastika made of feces was smeared on the wall of a dorm bathroom. The movement started in September, when Payton Head, the head of the Missouri Students Association, said he was called racial slurs by people in a truck driving by him. He told the Columbia Missourian it was the first time he'd "experienced in-your-face racism" on campus. The Missourian has a compete timeline of other events through the fall that have helped trigger the "Concerned Student 1950" movement. Students are upset at the lack of tangible action made by university officials toward the curbing of the type of incidents and diversity education on campus. Students protested Wolfe's car at the homecoming parade on October 10. The homecoming protest came five days after an intoxicated white male shouted racial slurs towards members of the Legion of Black Collegians rehearsing for a play on campus. From the Washington Post: “We will be here until we are heard,” Butler shouted into a megaphone as Wolfe and his wife sat awkwardly on top of the back seat, “and our people are protected and they feel safe on this campus.” Butler and his fellow students chanted until Columbia Police pushed them out of the way, threatening to arrest them and rattling cans of pepper spray in their faces. (Cops did not spray anyone and nobody was arrested, Butler said.) “We had drunk bystanders come and push us around, curse us out, say some really disgusting things,” Butler said of the demonstration. “Tim Wolfe allowed his driver to rev his engine, and by revving his engine and going back and forth, he ended up bumping one of us twice. The Columbia Police Dept threatened to arrest us even though we were being peaceful. You can see in the photos, we had our hands up and just wanted to do our demonstration and leave.” Wolfe recently apologized for his inaction at the Homecoming parade. However there has been no indication if any change in Missouri's administration is immediately forthcoming. " I regret my reaction at the MU homecoming parade when the ConcernedStudent1950 group approached my car," the statement read. "I am sorry, and my apology is long overdue. My behavior seemed like I did not care. That was not my intention. I was caught off guard in that moment. Nonetheless, had I gotten out of the car to acknowledge the students and talk with them perhaps we wouldn’t be where we are today." " I am asking us to move forward in addressing the racism that exists at our university — and it does exist. Together we must rise to the challenge of combatting racism, injustice, and intolerance." "I regret my reaction at the MU homecoming parade when the ConcernedStudent1950 group approached my car," the statement read. "I am sorry, and my apology is long overdue. My behavior seemed like I did not care. That was not my intention. I was caught off guard in that moment. Nonetheless, had I gotten out of the car to acknowledge the students and talk with them perhaps we wouldn’t be where we are today." "I am asking us to move forward in addressing the racism that exists at our university — and it does exist. Together we must rise to the challenge of combatting racism, injustice, and intolerance." Mizzou, 4-5, lost to Mississippi State on Thursday. The Tigers play BYU on Saturday in Kansas City. - - - - - - - Nick Bromberg is the assistant editor of Dr. Saturday on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter! Follow @NickBrombergRead more...
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