Welcome to THEJNSREPORT’S: MIZZOU Student Body Power (Athlete Power)
Where to begin? Society is still sick and still shows that we have a long way to go with the regards to the never ending fight against racism and inequity. By now we’ve all heard the incredible turn of events which forced the resignation of the University of Missouri President due to his inaction and outright ignorance of a series of racial incidents occurring on campus.
This movement on University of Missouri’s campus shows us that it begins with one person standing up and saying NO this isn’t right and I won’t stand for it and getting that message across to others. Once a movement starts to capture the minds and hearts of others it becomes infectious and inevitable that a call to action for change will follow.
What’s key to note here is that the students who initially complained to the University president weren’t heard and weren’t really effective until fellow student-athletes with a large platform joined them in protest of the inaction of the University President. Athletes have a bigger voice than the average student but it began with the non athlete students bringing this issue to light.
The power of money and the political power of athletes comes to the forefront here. Until the biggest money making part of the student body (the football team) joined the rest of the students protesting the inaction of the President and threatened not to play which would have cost the school between a million to 2 million dollars, the protesting students didn’t really have much leverage to force the ouster of the University President.
A year or so ago the NBA with the help of the estranged wife of former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling got his ownership stripped from him and the team was successfully sold to Steve Ballmer after Sterling’s racist rants to his then mistress were made public. The players stood in protest of Sterling’s ownership after his comments were made public and the public as well as the league demanded a change.
Money talks and the recognition of the influence athletes wield helped bring more attention to the protest and led to a change in leadership at the University. One small victory but a long way to go.