On Wednesday, the University of Missouri’s athletic department contributed its part to the NCAA’s inclusion week (which runs for less than an actual week, naturally), and boy was it crummy. Photos of several of their athletes explaining why they are “more than a student athlete.” The messages displayed in front of the beaming athletes were markedly different between black and white students:
Mizzou deleted the tweet and apologized, then said that the quotes had been cherry-picked from longer video messages made by the athletes. That doesn’t really explain why the other two examples in the tweets had quotes about their prospective careers. When sprinter Caulin Graves said, “I am a brother, uncle and best of all, I am a leader,” only the first part was used. The same went for track athlete Arielle Mack, who actually said, “I am an African-American woman, a sister, a daughter and a future physical therapist.”
“My first reaction, I was outraged,” said former Tigers QB Corby Jones to the Kansas City Star. “Why did we choose those words for those (African American) individuals? It was just poorly constructed.” Weird how Mizzou, whose university system president resigned in 2015 after the football team joined protests against a series of racist incidents on campus, wasn’t more careful about this.