African-American members of the Missouri football team announced through a statement on Twitter Saturday they will not participate in team activities until the school's president resigns or is removed from his office, amid racial tensions at the university.
The statement reads: "The athletes of color on the University of Missouri football team truly believe 'Injustice Anywhere is a threat to Justice Everywhere.' We will no longer participate in any football related activities until President Tim Wolfe resigns or is removed due to his negligence toward marginalized students' experiences. WE ARE UNITED!!!!!"
Missouri plays BYU next Saturday at Arrowhead Stadium, home of the NFL's Kansas City Chiefs.
The university released a statement Saturday night.
"The department of athletics is aware of the declarations made tonight by many of our student-athletes," it said. "We must come together with leaders from across our campus to tackle these challenging issues and we support our athletes right to do so."
The athletes joined the Concerned Student 1950 activist group, a movement that was begun to combat racism at the university and has amplified amid several incidents recently. Students began camping on campus at Traditions Plaza, demanding Wolfe resign, and according to the Kansas City Star, Wolfe apologized Friday for not responding to student protests.
“Racism does exist at our university, and it is unacceptable,” Wolfe said in a statement, according to the Star. “It is a long-standing, systemic problem which daily affects our family of students, faculty and staff. I am sorry this is the case.”
Jonathan Butler, a graduate student at the University of Missouri, is in the sixth day of a hunger strike, which he vowed won't end until Wolfe resigns.
David Morrison, who covers Missouri football for the Columbia Daily Tribune, estimated around 30 members of the Tigers' team posed for a photo — in which players linked their arms together, and in the middle of the photo is Butler — that accompanied the statement. Of those in the photo, Morrison identified several key players on Missouri's team, including linebacker Kentrell Brothers, who leads the nation in tackles with 117.
According to Morrison, 58 of the Tigers' 84 scholarship players are African-American.