11 28 2015
  1:33 am  
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Campus groups have been protesting the way university president Tim Wolfe has dealt with issues of racial harassment during the school year. Jonathan Butler, a black graduate student, is on a hunger strike to call attention to the issue. Missouri football players said Saturday, Nov. 7 on Twitter that they will not participate in team activities until the university president is removed from office. (Ellise Verheyen/Missourian via AP)

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Student protests over racial incidents on the University of Missouri campus escalated dramatically over the weekend when at least 30 black football players announced they will not participate in team activities until the school's president is removed.

President Tim Wolfe gave no indication he has any intention of stepping down, but agreed in a statement Sunday that "change is needed" and said the university is working to draw up a plan by April to promote diversity and tolerance.

For months, black student groups have complained of racial slurs and other slights on the overwhelmingly white, 35,000-student campus. Tensions flared during the homecoming parade Oct. 10 when black protesters blocked Wolfe's car in an unsuccessful attempt to talk to him.

On Saturday night, black members of the football team joined the outcry.

The athletes did not say explicitly whether they would boycott the team's three remaining games this season. The Tigers' next game is Saturday against BYU at Arrowhead Stadium, the home of the NFL's Kansas City Chiefs, and canceling it could cost the school millions.

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