Players' Stand Lesson for Race Relations; the Power of Sports Is Not Confined to Inside the Boundaries of Stadiums and Arenas. This Is a Good Thing. It Was a Good Thing Again Monday, When Pressure Applied by the Missouri Football Team Forced the Resignation of a College President over Criticism He Had Turned a Blind Eye to a Campus Culture of Racism and Discrimination. [Derived Headline]

Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, November 11, 2015 | Go to article overview

Players' Stand Lesson for Race Relations; the Power of Sports Is Not Confined to Inside the Boundaries of Stadiums and Arenas. This Is a Good Thing. It Was a Good Thing Again Monday, When Pressure Applied by the Missouri Football Team Forced the Resignation of a College President over Criticism He Had Turned a Blind Eye to a Campus Culture of Racism and Discrimination. [Derived Headline]


The power of sports is not confined to inside the boundaries of stadiums and arenas. This is a good thing. It was a good thing again Monday, when pressure applied by the Missouri football team forced the resignation of a college president over criticism he had turned a blind eye to a campus culture of racism and discrimination.

The Missouri Tigers have a 4-5 record as SEC also-rans. They might not even make it to a bowl game this season.

But what just happened makes their season a success. It was a victory of conscience that matters well beyond the scope a scoreboard or standings can convey.

Protests of Tim Wolfe's university presidency began to simmer in September, but catapulted to national news only when at least 30 black Missouri football players said Saturday they would boycott remaining games unless Wolfe resigned or was removed. Coach Gary Pinkel stood in solidarity with his team, tweeting, "We are behind our players."

Wolfe in resigning said he took "full responsibility for this frustration" and also for "the inaction that has occurred."

But there also was an undertone of defiance over the way he was forced out, such as him saying, "This is not the way changes come about."

But it is, of course. It is!

Sometimes, this is exactly the way changes come about.

Protests, grassroots movements, civil disobedience and occasional violent uprisings are interwoven in U.S. history and have helped shape it for, well, forever.

From the Boston Tea Party over taxation to Kent State over Vietnam to Ferguson, Mo., over the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, protesting what you believe is wrong has stamped the American conscience all across our time line as a nation.

There were echoes of Ferguson, located a two-hour drive from the University of Missouri campus, in this latest protest, with both rooted in race.

The death of the unarmed Brown by a white police officer last year spawned the "Black Lives Matter" movement and made further headlines when LeBron James and other sports stars wore T-shirts in support of the protest. …

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Players' Stand Lesson for Race Relations; the Power of Sports Is Not Confined to Inside the Boundaries of Stadiums and Arenas. This Is a Good Thing. It Was a Good Thing Again Monday, When Pressure Applied by the Missouri Football Team Forced the Resignation of a College President over Criticism He Had Turned a Blind Eye to a Campus Culture of Racism and Discrimination. [Derived Headline]
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