On Sunday, November 8th, the black players on the University of Missouri football team announced that they would not practice or play until Tim Wolfe was removed as president of the university. One day later, Wolfe resigned.
Curious as to why the team took such a drastic measure, I googled what this Wolfe guy did (or didn’t do…) to provoke such an extreme action by the team and such an immediate resignation from Wolfe. I arrived at this CNN article which had a timeline of events on the campus that had led to this. Here’s a quick synopsis of recent events:
September 12 – white guy in the back of a pickup truck yells racial slurs at Student Government President.
October 4 – a drunken student disrupts a Legion of Black Collegians rehearsal and uses a racial slur.
October 10 – protesters block the Wolfe’s car during a Missouri homecoming parade to voice their concerns – to which Wolfe doesn’t respond to – which he later apologizes for. Apparently, Wolfe’s car also “tapped” a student when it tried to continue forward, causing tensions to escalate.
October 24 – someone uses feces to draw a swastika on the wall of a residence hall…
Wait, WHAT?! Maybe they were just trying to draw a tic-tac-toe board and ran out of sh*t??
All of the black players go on strike and the university has to pay a $1,000,000 cancellation fee, resulting in the immediate resignation of the president…. all of the Jewish players go on strike and Missouri is probably sending out a university-wide email for open punter tryouts.
I don’t mean to belittle the racist acts that have gone on in Missouri – and it is great that the players stood up for something they believed in and that the rest of the team supported them. But the fact of the matter is that some people are d*cks…especially when drunk… and especially those who ride on the back of pickup trucks. The problem isn’t with Wolfe, it’s with racist a**holes. And racist a**holes aren’t a Missouri problem – they are a global problem.
But that – or the newfound power that NCAA athletes are now realizing that they have — isn’t the real story heading into this weekend’s football game between Missouri and BYU at Arrowhead Stadium.
The real (and disturbingly underreported) story here is the return of the Mormons of BYU to Jackson County, Missouri – a land which Mormon founder Joseph Smith once proclaimed as the location of the Second Coming of Christ, only to – much like Wolfe – be forcefully removed from it.
“If ye are faithful, ye shall assemble yourselves together to rejoice upon the land of Missouri!”
– Joseph Smith
If you want to read the full story of the Missouri Mormon War, you can do so here. Basically, a bunch of Mormons inhabited Jackson County, Missouri around 1831 in an effort to build it up as the location of the “millennial Zion.” Many local residents weren’t so happy with this influx of overtly nice people and tensions boiled over after a member of the latter-day Saints published an article in the local newspaper titled “Free People of Color.” A slave revolution ignited by this group of weird Mormons was not the most appetizing thing to take in for the white landowners of Jackson County, Missouri so they coordinated an aggression to force these people out of their state which took place over the course of three years and resulted in 22 deaths.
So when the BYU Cougars return to their once holy land to take on the Missouri Tigers, let’s hope that they don’t forget what happened to them there just 182 years ago. And let’s really hope that this turns into a South Park episode in the very near future.
And that’s the Commissioner’s take…