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Selma director Ava DuVernay praised the University of Missouri’s football team on Monday, after more than 30 black players said they would boycott all football-related activities until the school’s president stepped down.
The football players’ actions join a larger protest organized by an organization titled the Concerned Student 1950, which is named for the first year the university allowed African-American students to attend. The student activists are protesting the University of Missouri’s president because they don’t think he has done enough to help solve racism and race-related incidents on campus.
After the football team announced its decision on Saturday, the Mizzou protest achieved national attention.
“The power of the black athlete,” tweeted DuVernay. “They’ve always had it, but so rarely use it. This is remarkable to see unfold.”
The power of the black athlete. They’ve always had it, but so rarely use it. This is remarkable to see unfold. https://t.co/baw6xMCaQ7
— Ava DuVernay (@AVAETC) November 9, 2015
The University of Missouri President Tom Wolfe resigned on Monday. “It is my belief that we stopped listening to each other, we didn’t respond or react and we forced individuals like Jonathan Butler to take immediate action and steps to affect change,” Wolfe said in his resignation address. Butler is a student who went on a hunger strike on Nov. 2 as part of the protest. “This is not, I repeat not, the way change should come about.”
The Mizzou football team’s coach had stood by the players over the weekend when the announcement was made. “We are united,” he said, tweeting a photograph of the team. “We are behind our players.”
— Coach Gary Pinkel (@GaryPinkel) November 8, 2015
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