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Missouri Bill That Proposed Stripping Scholarships if Athletes Protested Is Pulled

Black football players MissouriEarlier this week, Missouri State Rep. Rick Brattin proposed a bill that would take away the scholarships of college athletes that participated in campus protests. By Thursday, Brattin pulled the bill from the floor amid outrage and public backlash.

If the bill was passed, the state would’ve suffered financially in regards to its higher education and university system. Many college athletes and top recruits wouldn’t have attend Missouri colleges. In addition to that, the amount of revenue college athletes brought in to those colleges would’ve diminished drastically. Football alone brings in an estimated $1 million per game. However, the biggest concern the bill would’ve caused if were enacted, was legal violations to students’ freedom of speech.

“It’s not quite clear how the rule would have been enforced,” SB Nation said. “The bill didn’t offer any punishment for a school that wouldn’t pull scholarships. And it’s worth noting Missouri’s athletic department is financially self-sufficient, operating off of private donations and athletic revenue, not public state funds.”

Brattin’s proposal comes after last month’s protests at the University of Missouri. Graduate student Jonathan Butler held a hunger strike to demand that the college’s president, Tim Wolfe, resign. It was not successful until the college football team went on strike as well, stating that they would not play if the racial issues on campus were not addressed and Wolfe finally stepped down.

This protest launched a national movement, to the displeasure of conservatives, but the movement has produced feasible changes to the way college campuses handle race. Brown has invested $100 million to specifically address this issue.

As the Black on Campus movement grows, there will likely be more backlash from the right.

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