OPINION – The Missouri Football Team and student Jonathan Butler (who went on a hunger strike) protested the racial oppression at the university. The Legion of Black Collegians and others (including football players) associated with the boycott, created a list of demands. One of the major demands that were highlighted is that Missouri President Tim Wolfe steps down from his position. The Legions of Black Collegians also wanted Wolfe to acknowledge his white privilege and total disregard to the racial oppression that has been evident at the college against Black students.
The Black players of the Missouri Football team, united together and refuse to play a single football game, unless Wolfe was ousted. I have never seen such a protest of this style in my lifetime, and I knew it would be only a matter of time before the university folded under the pressure.
I would read about Mohammed Ali’s protests, and the 1968 Black Power salute with Tommie Smith and John Carlos at the Olympic games podium. That’s how close I would get, where I would read about an athlete making a political statement against racial oppression. These two incidents occurred before I was born, so I’m jealous in a way to those who were alive and witness a protest from Black athletes concerning racial oppression. That would soon change…
Now it’s 2015, and Missouri protest has captivated us and has aroused the social media world, in ways that I would have never foreseen. Black people (those that are awake, that is) are sick and tired of the racial oppression in this country. Racism is everywhere, and it has become blatantly overt. The only thing missing, are the whites only signs displayed openly. Black people are tired of being controlled by whites, especially those that won’t acknowledge their white privilege, and used the Black body to make money off of them, while ensuring that the field remains uneven in every way imaginable – that includes outside of athletics. Black people are also tired of living in an environment that is fielded by racism, while others who can control the atmosphere ignore it – sometimes contributing to it.
As a result, Wolfe handed in his resignation. There were more casualties that were involved, who felt the rippling results of these football players’ protest. The chancellor of the flagship campus, R. Bowen Loftin also handed in his resignation.
The L.A. Clippers had a chance to place their historic stamp on slapping down those who demonstrate racist attitudes and oppression. As we all know, former L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling, was recorded openly on a racist tirade that not only showcased Sterling’s sheer disdained for Black people, but his overall persona that was just as disgusting.
What was the Clippers player’s response, when they found out that their owner is a racist and didn’t want any of his mistresses bringing Black people around the arena do? Clearly, these NBA players wouldn’t play in the post-season until Sterling was dismissed as owner right? Let the NBA lose millions of dollars in revenue, for harboring Sterling. The Clippers players had the power; they weren’t going to stand for this, right? Nope, all the Clippers players did was arrived at the arena not in dress code (warm-ups turned inside out). My thoughts were at the time, that they missed an opportunity to put a lot of those in power on notice, that economic protest is the way to get people’s attention and make changes. The Clipper players shouldn’t have showed up at all, and the season would have been over (since it was the play-offs). Revenue would have been lost and the NBA would have realize that they better do something quickly, when things like what Sterling demonstrated is exposed. Not sit on it and hope it blows over. Sterling was later forced out of ownership of the L.A. Clippers; he wasn’t hurting financially in the end, nevertheless.
The Clipper players, looked like chumps. They choose to forgo their integrity and stay safe so they can keep getting paid. They didn’t want the potential future endorsements to decline, or risk any other punishment for not playing in the playoffs. For that, I will always say the Clippers of 2015, gave the appearance of a bunch of suckers.
The Missouri football players on the other hand, had a lot to lose. They aren’t getting paid to play football; they weren’t pro-athletes who were getting millions of dollars a year. They had a lot at stake, compared to the Clippers players who are financially set for life. That’s the big difference between those who stand for something, and others who wouldn’t stand for anything – no matter how obviously something needs to be done. The Missouri football players made history and for that I am proud of them.
The NCAA as a whole is now on notice. These athletes are bringing in billions of dollars in revenue, and that cash flow can decrease if athletes choose to stop playing if they are experiencing racial oppression or other events that leads to stress at these universities. This was a defining moment in sports, and I hope this continues. I won’t hold my breath that a pro-athlete would demonstrate this type of courage in my lifetime. I do know, this new generation won’t stand around like chumps and get treated like cash cows, while suffering in silence to racial oppression.
The Missouri players inserted their power, and they made history. I don’t think people really realize how ground breaking these protests were and how we evaluate future protest. I wish we can take these ideas and implement it economically on how we protest against police brutality. We should target companies who contribute to police unions, private prisons, and those who contribute to politicians, who do absolutely nothing about police brutality. Economic protests is the way to go, and the Missouri football players just showed us how it’s done.
Just blogging for the masses, ya dig?