The University of Missouri has been dealing with major public relations and social justice issues over the last few years, culminating in protests that led to the resignation of Mizzou’s president and promise to overhaul the “problematic” campus culture.
It looks like they may need to keep working on their social justice bonafides. On Wednesday, Mizzou’s athletic department sent out a …perplexing (to say the least) image across social media in an attempt to toot their own “inclusion” horn. How the image managed to make it all the way from the planning and design process to publication is incomprehensible.
The image features four athletes, all apparently touting their value beyond simply being student athletes. The intention seems to have been to show that the university values inclusion and racial diversity and also boasts a diversity in interests and talents. Sounds good, right?
What ended up being published seemed almost like parody.
And then there was this image in a second stand-alone tweet.
I actually double and triple checked to make sure this wasn’t indeed just a parody.
This is not parody.
To recap: at Mizzou white student athletes are future doctors and business people. Black student athletes are…black. Poor Caulin Graves doesn’t even get to be black, just “a brother”. *insert laughy-cry emoji here*
Chad-Jones Hicks doesn’t even seem to be on the athlete roster at Mizzou at all, but instead works in the ticketing offices according to The Riverfront Times.
Similarly, Chad Jones-Hicks — who appears to not be a student athlete, but rather a “Ticket Office Assistant” according to Mizzou’s website — is shown stating only, “I value equality.”
Twitter wasn’t having it.
Why would y’all post this. Do you not have any Black people on the PR team? Did you run this by *any Black person on campus*? pic.twitter.com/lmHh0BQYki
— Afro New Guinea 🇿🇦🇵🇷🇵🇬 (@simplyshorty___) October 24, 2019
GIRL. I want to know who thought this was a great idea. Were there any Blacks in the decision making process?!?!
— Little Foot (@Connichameleon2) October 24, 2019
that Mizzou tweet is exactly what these institutions view as being diverse.
"We've got our WW, and our token Blacks. We're done."
— Sister Night’s Nose (@Phllp_Wnslw) October 24, 2019
Oh no Mizzou, baby what is you doing? pic.twitter.com/RoyeTX8MmN
— NUFF (@nuffsaidny) October 24, 2019
Mizzou responded by removing the tweet and apologizing.
Earlier we made a mistake when we posted a graphic about our student athletes. We apologize. Our intent was to provide personal information about our students, but we failed. We listened and removed the post. This video better represents our intent to celebrate our diversity. pic.twitter.com/dVZjrLZ254
— Mizzou Athletics (@MizzouAthletics) October 24, 2019