Foulness always seems to follow victory.
In this instance the foulness is an outside reverberation against Black football players leveraging their considerable power against the apathy of then president Tim Wolfe and chancellor R. Bowen Loftin, against a series of racist incidents that occurred on or near the University of Missouri. Indeed, it is difficult for me to fathom a situation where any Black student athlete could ever feel comfortable donning the familiar black and gold uniforms of a Missouri Tiger without some sort of sound resolution.
Spurned on by student activist Johnathan Butler, these young men helped spur a revolutionary act that was in direct agreement with the Constitution of the United States. A non-violent protest, Black players realizing their power, their teammates and coaches demonstrating their support and the removal of a racially apathetic school administrator. Glory, glory hallelujah! Don’t tread on me! George Washington crossed the Delaware on Christmas Eve, and all of that stuff, right? Well, sometimes.
But seldom if you're Black.
Historically, wherever one finds a progressive victory in America one will also find the lever of facism move to counter that victory. Lest people believe there will be no repercussions for them for exercising their American right to protest. Oh, heavens no! Not for exercising their inalienable rights. This is America. Somebody just got away with changing the status quo and "they’re" not having that.
Earlier this week, Missouri state representatives Rick Brattin and Kurt Buhr, introduced bill HB-1743. It calls for the scholarship of any athlete refusing to play for any reason other than health to be revoked. That’s dirty pool, ladies and gentlemen. Additionally, the bill calls for fining any coach who supports such action. A hearing has not been scheduled yet but the sponsors are hoping to have it completed before the start of the next football season.
Will the one percent’s urge to control trump the Constitution of the United States?
Young, gifted and Black? Offensive traits in Missouri it would seem.
"Obviously in reaction to the athletes who were saying they weren’t going to play to what they considered to be social issues on campus," Bahr said, according to the Columbia Missourian. "I don’t think that is an appropriate response on their part.
In other words, negro athletes should stay in their place. We'll tend to the big bad racists for you. But what they always neglect to add is their true personal feelings on race.
“The issue really is, they can have the freedom of speech (when they) like or don’t like something on campus,” Bahr continued. “But if they’re going to receive state money, there are going to be ramifications.”
But, according to USA Today, the University of Missouri does not receive any state funds for its athletics. They work with what they bring in.
The ability of Black student athletes to leverage their power for the greater good has long been a pipe dream of sorts. Now that this power has been successfully wielded to bring change, the powers of the establishment are attempting to silence and mute it.
If this continues, they just might inspire a Norma Rae movment in Missouri.
Be ready Mizzou.