Crisis in Missouri

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It’s going down at the University of Missouri. If you haven’t turned on the television in the past couple days, I’ll fill you in. Numerous football players at the University of Missouri recently protested against their university’s president, Tim Wolfe. The players refused to attend practices or play in any games until President Wolfe resigned. Why in the world would these athletes behave like this? Well, apparently, Mr. Wolfe has not responded very well in the past to racial issues on campus, which has left many African Americans frustrated and upset. The athletes decided to take matters into their own hands by taking a stance and refusing to play football. Needless to say, the point got across real quick.

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On Monday, November 9th, 2015, President Tim Wolfe officially resigned as the President of the University of Missouri. Although this news overjoyed the on-strike football players, it overall rattled the country. Wolfe is taking full responsibility and is hoping his resignation will encourage healing and allow students to start talking about crucial issues with each other again. According to CNN’s article, Wolfe’s resignation was quickly followed by the University Chancellor’s, as well. Both men claim to be resigning due to racial tensions and hope that them stepping down will display unity, love and change for the school, students, and faculty.

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What I want to know is how in the world did a couple of college football players make the President of a state university step down from his elite position? Is it possible for a few complaints to lead to a well-deserved and hard-working man losing his job? Well, apparently, in this day and age, the answer is yes. The day has come where our society places such high value and admiration on our athletes that we allow them to push around authority and make decisions that they shouldn’t even have the power to make. The scary thing is – I’m afraid this Missouri incident could possibly be just a catalyst for more.

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Sports are more powerful than ever before. Athletes are huge celebrities idolized by individuals around the world. People dream to be as athletic, talented and popular as the people we watch play on the television. Although racial tensions had been prevalent at the University of Missouri, it wasn’t until the school’s football team decided to strike that the university took action. These student athletes may not realize the image they just portrayed to America – an image that displays their power and authority. Student athletes have tremendous leeway and I hope they do not begin to abuse their power in the future.

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I am a strong believer in equality and treating every individual fairly – no matter their race, religion, gender or ethnicity. I do not believe what recently occurred at the University of Missouri was correct because we allowed athletes to dictate. If there has been inappropriate behavior regarding race, I believe that is unacceptable. But, I also believe President Tim Wolfe did not deserve to be forcibly removed from his position. It is extremely vital to draw a line and make sure nobody, not even athletes, have the ability to cross it.

 

http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/ncaaf/2015/11/09/missouri-football-players-boycott-college-athlete-power-gary-pinkel-mack-rhoades/75489518/

http://www.cnn.com/2015/11/09/us/missouri-football-players-protest-president-resigns/

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