State Representative Rick Brattin (R-Harrisonville) has withdrawn a bill that would revoke the scholarships of student athletes who refuse to play for reasons unrelated to health. In a statement from Brattin today, he says:
“My bill was filed to generate discussion on what I believe is an extremely important topic and one that deserves deliberate consideration. While I am withdrawing the legislation, I hope the conversation will continue so that we can take steps to ensure the University of Missouri is providing a stable, positive learning environment for our young people. I sincerely believe students should be able to express their viewpoints, but I also believe our flagship state university has to keep and maintain the order that is expected from such an esteemed educational institution.”
The measure was in response to the Mizzou football team boycott last month. Protesters, along with the football team, demanded then-President Tim Wolfe’s removal for his handling of racially-charged incidents on campus this year.
In an interview with Missourinet today, the bill’s co-sponsor, Representative Kurt Bahr (R-St. Charles), said further research by Brattin determined that the bill would have been unconstitutional because MU athletic programs receive no state funds. Bahr echoed a similar message as Brattin’s by saying that one of the main reasons for filing the bill was to create conversation with Mizzou leadership about the actions of the football team and protesters.