President of the University of Missouri, Tim Wolfe, resigned today after months of poor race relations on campus and within the community. After multiple incidents of hate crimes and racially fueled conflicts , a graduate student went on a hunger strike and the school’s black football players (later followed by their white teammates and coach) refused to play until Wolfe stepped down.
In his resignation speech, Wolfe said he took “full responsibility for the inaction that has occurred” and that he hopes people “use my resignation to heal and start talking again.” Amidst all of this, it’s incredibly important to recognize just how much good a football team can do by not playing football.
A lot of bad things happen when football players play football. Let’s start with the bad stuff happening on the field. We’re talking concussions which lead to long lasting brain damage. These players’ bodies are so worn and torn, the aftermath of their athletic careers are bleak. When football players don’t play football, they’re tackling systemic oppression and racism and helping implement real change. Also their ding dong noggins are so much more less likely to implode on them selves!
Off the field, when football players are playing football, all that’s in the news is spousal abuse or student athletes coastin’ by on zero work. Erhm, no bueno. But look at what get’s done when they just don’t play football for a minute. Authority figures are forced to acknowledge their abuses of privilege and take action to help those mistreated by the man. (And not be the man that mistreats! Boom!) That’s direct correlation baby and that’s something learned from my college courses I attended all of!
Guys, it’s clear. Well, two things are clear. Systematic racism is bad. Duh. But also the power of not playing football is impressively strong. So while we’re all hopping on board not being racist and sexist bigots to one another, let’s maybe think about getting really into watching competitive figure skating as a country! (Just brainstorming!)