UPDATE: Mizzou's President has apparently resigned, proving that some people think negotiating with terrorists is a good idea, even when those terrorists are 1-5 in the SEC.
UPDATE 2: I read or watched over a dozen stories before writing this article and one of them gave me the clear impression that the boycott in question was only for practices. I can't find it at the moment, but that is irrelevant since the actual statement of the players indicates that they clearly intended to boycott both games and practices. Therefore, it appears that point 1 below is wrong. Rather than stealth edit this story Politico style to remove the error I am including this update at the top here and leaving the text below unchanged so that you may all throw rotten vegetables at me. The rest of the story is correct, insofar as the sources I have cited are correct.
The sports media - who are uniformly worse at their jobs and more sickeningly liberal than their news media counterparts - have been breathlessly reporting on the fact that thirty black Mizzou football players are allegedly going on strike over racism on campus. This is being presented as an act of courage likely to foster social change, rather than as the act of lazy cowardice that it is.
Here are a few key points to illustrate why the story is not as the sports media would have you believe - these are not brave change agents, but lazy cowards.
- The football players are not striking from playing in games. They are striking from participating in practice. In other words, they will still get to be on television gloating and celebrating every time they make a good play - which won't be all that often, since they are not very good, but more on that later. They just won't be going to practice. Of course, any coach worth his salt would react to this news by saying, at the very least, "if you don't practice, you don't play." Nick Saban would already have all thirty players scholarships revoked just on principle. Instead, Missouri is coached by Gary Pinkel, who is going to allow this charade to continue because he is weak and has lost control of his team and hopes that people will focus on the "brave stance" he is taking by allowing this rather than the "terrible record" that his football team has compiled this year or on the fact that they "lost to Vanderbilt."
- Missouri is terrible. As mentioned above, they lost to Vanderbilt, the first time an SEC team has lost to Vandy since James Franklin departed Vandy... in 2013. They have no chance of playing for an SEC title - in fact, they have little chance of playing in a bowl game at all. If they manage to beat BYU and either Tennessee or Arkansas (I'll eat my hat if this happens), they'd be relegated to a bowl game in Shreveport, LA someplace. As the non-striking members of the team have noted, this is not a 9-0 team that is bravely forfeiting a chance at postseason glory to make a point - it is a crappy football team in which 30 members have decided that they'd like to skip the last three weeks of pointless practices to end what has been a bitterly disappointing season.
- The claims of the guy who is leading the hunger strike are laughably absurd, and some have nothing to do with race. Notably, one of his chief gripes is that, per Missouri state law, Planned Parenthood has been kicked off campus. This is one of the reasons that... he wants the Mizzou President to resign, because apparently the President of a University can change state law. The idea that a white supremacist would draw a swastika in feces is just absolute nonsense. Literally the only one of his claims that is even facially plausible is that someone shouted a racial epithet at him once. Obviously, we would all prefer it if people were not racist jerks, but I fail to see how that translates into "therefore the President of the University where I attend must be fired."
- Before he invented facially unbelievable accusations of widespread racism on campus, the person leading the hunger strike indicated pretty clearly that what he was upset about was the fact that he lost his graduate health insurance (due to Obamacare!) and the university tore down the graduate housing complex in which he lived. He tried to protest these actions, but predictably no one cared. He remained angry at the President of Missouri, so he changed his gripe to racism and found some willing suckers who didn't want to practice football anymore, and now this is a national story. At the end of the day, this crusade is transparently about getting rid of a university President who one guy has a beef with for reasons completely unrelated to racism.
At the end of the day, this isn't a courageous strike against racism. It's a lazy strike against practicing for a bad football team. The fact that the media isn't reporting it this way is evidence of the media's own laziness.