University of Missouri football players go on strike; demand resignation of university president

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) – The latest on the protests and turmoil over racially charged incidents at the University of Missouri. All times local.

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2:15 p.m.

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill says the University of Missouri Board of Curators needs to “send a clear message” to the students at the Columbia campus that they’ll address racism.

McCaskill, a graduate of the state’s flagship campus, said in a statement Sunday that she’s “confident my university can and will do better in supporting an environment of tolerance and inclusion.”

Student groups and black members of the football team are calling for President Tim Wolfe to step down over the way he has handled matters of race and discrimination on the campus, and one black graduate student is on a hunger strike.

Wolfe said earlier Sunday that changes will come as part of a systemwide diversity and inclusion strategy that’s due to be announced next April.

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2 p.m.

A University of Missouri student who is one of the Concerned Student 1950 organizers says black and other minority students are treated differently than white students.

Abigail Hollis and others have been camping out in the heart of campus in protest since Monday.

Student groups and black members of the football team are calling for President Tim Wolfe to step down over the way he has handled matters of race and discrimination on the campus, and one black graduate student is on a hunger strike.

Hollis said while there have been issues with the campus’ administration, there’s been a “stark difference” between meetings with Wolfe and those with Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin. She said Wolfe has shown a “lack of concern and … understanding for us as marginalized students.”

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1:55 p.m.

University of Missouri President Tim Wolfe says changes will come to address racially charged incidents at the school as part of a systemwide diversity and inclusion strategy and plan that’s due to be announced next April.

Wolfe said in a statement Sunday that it’s clear “change is needed” and that he appreciates the “thoughtfulness and passion which have gone into the sharing of concerns.”

He also says the majority of items that Concerned Student 1950 listed in their demands were in the strategy that’s being worked on.

Student groups and black members of the football team are calling for Wolfe to step down over the way he has handled matters of race and discrimination on the campus, and one black graduate student is on a hunger strike.

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1 p.m.

A former Democratic state lawmaker and former chairman of the University of Missouri’s Board of Curators has defended President Tim Wolfe’s campus leadership.

Student groups and black members of the football team are calling for Wolfe to step down over the way he has handled matters of race and discrimination on the campus, and one black graduate student is on a hunger strike.

Longtime lawmaker Wayne Goode said Wolfe is “one of the best managers I’ve ever worked with.” Goode also said Wolfe has “very strong support on the board,” though he declined to indicate whether he had spoken with anyone on the board or with Wolfe.

Wolfe, 56, is a former software executive and Missouri business school graduate who grew up in Columbia and whose father taught at the university.

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12:15 p.m.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon says the University of Missouri must address concerns over “racism and intolerance.”

The Democratic governor issued his statement on Sunday, a day after 32 black football players announced they will not participate in team activities until university President Tim Wolfe is removed.

Student groups have protested the way Wolfe has handled matters of race and discrimination on the campus in Columbia, and one black graduate student is on a hunger strike.

Nixon’s statement says the concerns must be dealt with so that the school is “a place where all students can pursue their dreams in an environment of respect, tolerance and inclusion.”

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12:10 p.m.

The verified Twitter account for Missouri football coach Gary Pinkel has posted a picture of the team and coaches locking arms.

It comes a day after 32 black football players announced that they will not participate in team activities until university President Tim Wolfe is removed.

The tweet posted Sunday reads: “The Mizzou Family stands as one. We are united. We are behind our players. #ConcernedStudent1950 GP”.

Student groups have protested the way Wolfe has handled matters of race and discrimination on the campus in Columbia.

It isn’t clear whether the athletes’ announcement will affect next Saturday’s game at home against BYU.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


 

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) – Missouri football players announced on Twitter that they will not participate in team activities until the university president resigns, a move designed to join forces with a black graduate student who is holding a hunger strike.

The statement from the athletes of color on the University of Missouri football team was tweeted out Saturday by several members of the football team, including starting running back Russell Hanbrough.

University of Missouri President Time Wolfe
University of Missouri President Time Wolfe

Jonathan Butler has not eaten since Monday and met with Missouri President Tim Wolfe on Friday to discuss the university’s handling of racial harassment cases.

The statement from the players included a photograph of 32 black men, including Butler.

In a text message statement to The Associated Press, the Missouri athletic department said it was aware of the statement by “many of our student-athletes.”

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