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Missouri Athletics Department Responds to Player Boycott

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The Tigers' brass isn't saying much of anything right now about African-American players' decision to sit out of football-related activities until on-campus racial tensions are addressed

Dak Dillon-USA TODAY Sports

The Missouri athletics department has responded to reports that African-American football players plan to boycott football-related activities until the school's president is removed. It will probably surprise you very little to learn that the department said as little as it could about racist incidents on campus and what the university would do to address them. The first part of the statement was essentially an acknowledgment that people in the department can read Twitter.

The second portion could be significant depending on what it means. But it's far too vague to drawn any conclusions.

What exactly does that "support" entail? Does it mean that players who take part in the boycott won't be suspended or have their scholarships taken away? Or does that support simply mean that the department will allow the athletes to practice their right to free speech -- which seems to be something that the administration really couldn't prevent?

This was a crisis on one side of the university that very quickly overtook to the Missouri athletics department, so it's somewhat understandable if the Tigers brass didn't a statement ready to issue. But there are going to be more questions in the days ahead, and the athletics department will have to be able to answer them.