What the Hell Just Happened at Mizzou?
The University of Missouri’s president resigned on Monday following a sudden strike by the school’s football team.
Students criticized Tim Wolfe for not adequately responding to a spate of incidents where the student body president and several others were called “n***er” by white men and a swastika made of human feces was found in a campus restroom.
“The frustration and anger that I see is clear, real, and I don’t doubt it for a second,” Wolfe said. “Please, please, use this resignation to heal, not to hate, and let’s move on together for a brighter tomorrow.”
On Monday, Nov. 2, Jonathan Butler went on hunger strike, saying he would refuse to eat until Wolfe stepped down.
On Saturday, Butler met with the football team following a game against Mississippi State. By 8 p.m., sophomore safety Anthony Sherrils announced the team would “no longer participate in any football related activities until Wolfe resigns or is removed to due to his negligence towards marginalized students’ experiences.”
On Sunday morning, several players met with coaches to explain their decision to boycott next practice and next week’s game against Brigham Young University. Forfeiture would automatically cause the university to pay BYU $1 million, plus it would see the university lose out on revenue from ticket sales.
At 11:39 a.m., head coach Gary Pinkel tweeted his support for the team. That night, he announced his support for the “Concerned Student 1950 movement,” named after the first year Mizzou let a black student in.
Two hours later, Wolfe released a statement saying he wouldn’t resign but would try to improve the campus climate.
“We will share next steps as soon as they are confirmed.”
At 4 p.m., Athletic Director Mack Rhodes issued a statement with Pinkel explaining all football activities would cease until Butler resumes eating.
Early Monday morning, faculty staff announce they would walk out in support of Butler’s hunger strike.
At 10 a.m., the university’s regents met and soon after, Wolfe resigned.
“This is not, I repeat, not, how change should come about,” Wolfe said in an announcement, while adding that change comes from listening to others. “I take full responsibility for the inaction, and I take full responsibility for the frustration that has occurred.”