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Missouri football team to boycott games over ‘racism’

Black players from a US college football team say they will boycott games until their university’s president resigns over what they call his inability to deal with racism.

More than 30 players from the University of Missouri team in Columbia backed the move.

This comes as one university student is continuing a hunger strike over alleged racism in the mainly white college.

In response, university president Tim Wolfe promised to tackle the problem.

‘White favouritism’

In a statement, the group of black players said: “The athletes of colour on the University of Missouri football team truly believe ‘injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere’.

“We will no longer participate in any football-related activities until President Tim Wolfe resigns or is removed due to his negligence toward marginalised students’ experience.”

A photograph was also posted online showing the players and their coaches locking arms in a sign of solidarity.

The athletes said they were joining other protest groups at the 35,000 campus. Activists have long complained about what they describe as racial slur and white favouritism.

Mr Wolfe later promised to address the issue.

“It is clear to all of us that change is needed, and we appreciate the thoughtfulness and passion which have gone into the sharing of concerns,” he was quoted as saying by Reuters.

Mr Wolfe added that the university had been working on “a systematic diversity and inclusion strategy” to be unveiled next year.

However, he did not say whether he was planning to resign.

Racial tensions boiled over in Missouri in 2014 after a white policeman killed unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in the town of Ferguson.

The shooting later sparked demonstrations across America against racial bias by the police.

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