Reverend Jesse Jackson has praised the University of Missouri Football team for (peacefully) taking matters in their own hands regarding threats made to people of color on their campus.
Black members of Mizzou’s “Tigers” football team announced they would not participate in team activities or games until University of Missouri President Tim Wolfe stepped down. The move was an act of support for campus activists calling for Wolfe’s resignation, arguing the administrator hadn’t adequately responded to incidents of racism on campus.
While many media outlets reported the actions of the students fighting racism on their campus, they were hardly commended—until recently. Reverend Jackson wrote a lengthy op-ed for the Chicago Sun-Times praising the team for bringing the problems of the University of Missouri to light.
In the letter, Rev. Jackson points out many athletes who’ve contributed to the fight against social and racial injustice in their community. From Jim Brown to Billie Jean King, no matter the athlete’s race, each joined the fight to help the community. He reflects on how society puts these athletes on a pedestal and labels them as “golden geese,” but when all fails and they become injured, no one cares about them and leaves them in the dust. This discourages them to even want to pursue a career after sports. So when the University of Missouri Tigers turned their sports radar off and turned their eyes on their people—even including some of their Caucasian teammates and coaches—this made the world turn to the University of Missouri and help the fight.
Let the Tigers be an example of what true athletes stand for: not for themselves, but for their people.