Mizzou Football Players Divided on Strike After Coach Cancels Practice

Tim Wolfe
The Associated Press

More than thirty University of Missouri student-athletes interlocked arms for a picture this weekend conveying their solidarity to boycott football until school president Tim Wolfe resigns or receives his termination. But an anonymous player says the team is not as united as that photograph suggests.

“As much as we want to say everyone is united, half the team and coaches—black and white—are pissed,” the unnamed player told ESPN’s Brett McMurphy. “If we were 9-0, this wouldn’t be happening.”

The Tigers struggle at 4-5, losing four games in a row. They face BYU, Tennessee, and Arkansas in their remaining contests, and could receive a bowl invite if they win out or if they take two of three. But head coach Gary Pinkel called off Sunday’s scheduled practice, and voiced support for the striking players.

The decision to boycott football stems from a campus movement to outs the school’s president because he refused to speak with activists who blocked his vehicle and allegedly mishandled several racial incidents on campus, including the unsolved mystery of a swastika appearing in impromptu ink made from excrement appearing on a white wall. However united the players appear in the picture, their words suggest a locker room divided.

“Not everyone agrees with the decision,” the anonymous player told ESPN. “Most people are pissed, including the black guys.