MU athletes to march against racial injustices and police brutality
COLUMBIA - MU student athletes plan to protest against social injustices and police brutality on Wednesday, after the shooting of Jacob Blake.
The Mizzou Black Athlete Association is organizing the protest among Mizzou Athletics. In a public statement, BSAA explained the reason behind the demonstration.
"We, as student-athletes at the University of Missouri feel that nobody at Mizzou has been vocal about the displays of social injustices, police brutality or systemic oppression Black Americans have fallen victim to all summer, and even this past week," the statement said.
The organization later revised its original statement, claiming the original post misconstructed the message of unity organizers wanted to send.
"The goal of Wednesday's march/sit-in is to promote unity against the injustices which continue in our nation," the statement said. "It is our desire to help create meaningful change."
We want to clear up any confusion. Our goal is for unity and change. pic.twitter.com/PTqIdB4l9k— Mizzou Black Student Athlete Association (@mizzoubsaa) September 1, 2020
MU Men's Basketball player Torrence Watson is attending Wednesday's protest with his team. He explained this event is unifying the athletic department and hopes to bring others in to the cause.
“It’s showing that sports can really bring people together and that we want our voices to be heard," Watson said. "A lot of people at the University, a lot of the fans love us for playing the basketball game. But at the end of the day, when we leave that court, we know that we’re still young Black men."
"We all have to stick together and make sure our voices are heard and I feel like people will definitely listen to us. All the athletes walking together, sitting together, standing together, will bring other people in.”
In previous Zoom press conferences, MU football head coach Eli Drinkwitz expressed his support for Mizzou Athletics in protesting against social injustices.
“I’ve spoken to our team at length about us trying to create change," Drinkwitz said. "We’ve launched several things throughout the summer to continue to bring awareness and promote change in a positive way and that’s what we’re looking to do.”
The protest will begin at 6 p.m. at the MU Columns. "March with Mizzou" was previously scheduled to begin at the Mizzou Athletic Facility but "due to COVID-19 concerns", the starting place was relocated.
??CHANGE OF LOCATION??— Mizzou Black Student Athlete Association (@mizzoubsaa) September 1, 2020
Due to COVID-19 concerns, we will now start at the COLUMNS. Meet at 6:00 pm and we will march to Memorial Stadium for the sit-in and speakers. Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause, but we still hope to see you there. #Mizzou4Change
Watson also commented on Mizzou's response to racial injustices across the county. He explained more attention will be brought to the protest because student athletes are involved.
"We all have to stick together and make sure our voices are heard and I feel like people will definitely listen to us," Watson said. "All the athletes walking together, sitting together, standing together, will bring other people in.”
Both the President and Vice President of Mizzou BSAA are scheduled to make speeches at the sit-in at Memorial Stadium. KOMU 8 reached out to both student leaders and was denied a comment before the protest.